10:00am: Court resumed in open session and prosecution counsel Ms. Brenda Hollis commenced the examination of 82nd Prosecution Witness TF1-045, Augustine Sama Mallah. Prosecution counsel Ms. Hollis applied for protective measures earlir granted to the witness to be rescinded as he was ready to testify in open. Count granted said application. In stating his personal details, the witness said that he was also called SMOG, meaning Save Me O God, a name taken from the African Literature Chick and the River. He said that when he became part of the RUF, the name was cut short as OG.
Witness captured in 1991 by rebels with Liberian accent
The witness testified that he was captured by rebel forces in 1991, while in his hometown in Pujehun, Southern Sierra Leone. He said that among the rebels who captured him were people with Liberian accents, some of whom he mentioned as Benjamin Syl and SK Zoro Coin. He said the rebels told them that Foday Sankoh was the leader of the revolution in Sierra Leone. The witness said that the rebels gathered the people of the village under a court barry, where they took about 50 of them away for training. He said that among those taken away were young boys and girls. He said that the younger women were tanek away by the rebels as their wives. The witness said that among those taken away was his sister, who he said later told him that she had been taken away as a wife for the rebels. The witness said that when he was captured, the rebels took him and many others to a training camp in Gisiru where they were trained in guirilla warfare and the use of arms and ammunition. For those who resisted the training, the witness said they were severely beaten and for those who tried to escape, they were executed. After the trainingm, the witness became a Juniour Commando and he remained with the RUF until the end of disarmament in 2002.
Arms and other supplies brought from Liberia and RUF retreat from Sierra Leone to Liberia in 1991/92
The witness testified that in 1991, he saw Foday Sankoh bringing arms, ammunition and medicines from Liberia for use by RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. The witness said that in 1991, he saw Sankoh in Pujehun on three occassions. He said he also saw Sankoh there in 1994. The witness testified about numerous occassions when there were pushed by Sierra Leone Government soldiers from their various strongholds. He said that they retreated into Liberia. He said that while in Liberia, they were taken to Bomi Hills, a place under NPFL control for further training. He said that more than 500 to 600 fighters undertook the training at Bomi Hills in Liberia. He said that at Bomi Hills, they taught them how to operate heavy weapons and the use of land mines. The witness also spoke about attrocities committed by RUF Vanguards in Sierra Leone.
Witness as Commander of the RUF Strike Force
The witness said that when Sankoh established Zogoda as the RUF headquarters, he was transfered there to protect the Mansion Ground. He said that the Srike Force was established to provide protection at camp Zogoda. He said that the Strike Force was responsible for providing security about 2 to 3 miles away from Zogoda. He said that the Strike Force would screen all RUF fighters wanting to go to Zogoda and that civilians who were discovered within the vicinity were killed. Sankoh made the witness Commander of the Strike Force. He said that while he occupied this position, he reported directly to Sankoh.
Court adjourned for mid-morning break.