12:00am: Court resumed after mid-morning break and prosecution witness TF1-045 Augustine Sama Mallah continued in open session. In his testimony, the witness spoke about several issues ranging from the command structure in the RUF after the end of the AFRC/RUF rule to the treatment of civilians in Buedu, Sam Bockarie’s visits to Monrovia, Jungle’s visit to Buedu and the plan of Operation Spare No Soul.
Prosecution counsel first had the witness to talk about diamonds handed over to Sam Bockarie by Johnny Paul Koroma, something he had testified about in the morning session. The witness drew on a piece of paper, the size of the percel that Johnny Paul handed over to Bockarie. The witness signed the paper on which he drew the percel and the said paper was admitted as prosecution exhibit. The witness also spoke about diamonds taken from Gullit in Kailahun.
The witness was asked about the command structure in the RUF after the ECOMOG intervention that removed the AFRC junta from power. The witness explained that Sam Bockarie was the overall leader of the RUF in the absence of Foday Sankoh. He said Issa Sesay was deputy to Bockarie, Morris Kallon next to Issa, Superman as Battle Group Commander and Rambo as deputy to Superman. He explained that Superman and Rambo were in Makeni while Bockarie and Issa were in Buedu. He said that there were senior AFRC officers also in Buedu who reported to Bockarie.
Treatment of Civilians in Buedu
Prosecution counsel asked the witness about the treatment of civilians in Buedu. The witness explained that civilians were used to do domestic chores for RUF and AFRC officers in Buedu. He said that the civilians had no way to refuse doing these chores. He also said that the female civilians were used for sexual purposes by AFRC/RUF soldiers. The witness explained that when a woman stayed with one man for over one or two years and decided they did not want that particular man anymore, another soldier will take that woman. If the woman decided not to want the new man, she would be kicked around like a football, meaning, different rebels will sleep with her at their will. He said that civilians were only allowed to move around when they obtained pass from the RUF hierarchy.
Bockarie’s Visits to Monrovia and Jungle’s Visits to Buedu
The witness said that at some point, he was transfered to Baima but since his family was based in Buedu, he used to visit them. He said that when he made such visits, he knew that Bockarie was making visits to Monrovia to see Charles Taylor. The witness said there were times when he accompanied Bockarie to Foya where a helicopter will pick Bockarie up to go to Monrovia. He said that Bockarie told him that he was visiting Monrovia to get materials from Taylor for the RUF. The witness said that two of Bockarie’s bodyguards who used to travel with him to Monrovia told him that Bockarie used to take diamonds to Taylor for those materials. He said that while in Buedu, he used to see mining commanders bringing diamonds to Bockarie. He said that he also saw United States dollars being given to a man called Salim, an RUF contractor to purchase materials along the Guinea/Sierra Leone border.
The witness said that Jungle also used to visit Bockarie in Buedu from Liberia. He said that he saw Jungle in Buedu on three occassions. On two of those occassions, he said he saw Jungle bring arms and ammunition for the RUF. He said that Jungle told him that he brought the materials on orders from Taylor. The witness said that Jungle told him that he brought arms and ammunition on a third occassion but he did not see them. He said that Bockarie used to give diamonds to Jungle to take to Taylor.
Operation Spare No Soul
The witness said that there was a time when Bockarie hold him he was travelling to Liberia to seek advice from Taylor. He said that when Bockarie returned to Buedu, he called a meeting which was attended by many senior officers of both AFRC and RUF. He said Bockarie reported at the meeting that he had just come from visiting Taylor in Liberia and that Taylor had given him arms and ammunition for a particular mission. He said that he had also come with people from Liberia, headed by a former ULIMO commander, who were to serve as reinforcements for the particular mission. He said that the mission was planned as Operation Spare No Soul. This, he said, meant that all towns occupied by ECOMOG should be completely destroyed when captured. The witness said there was a second meetiong in Buedu in which they discussed the same mission. He said once the mission was planned, they apportioned themselves into different units, going in different directions. The witness said that he was with a group that was to advance towards Kenema, while Issa, Akim and Soriba were to join Superman and Rambo to attack Kono. After the Kono attack, he said that Akim was to advance and capture Tongo while Issa and Kallon were to advance to Makeni. The witness said that in his group, they could not capture Kenema but implemented Bockarie’s orders by killing civilians and burning down the villages they captured on the way. After this operation, the witness moved to Segbwema where he remained until rebels entered Freetown in January 1999 and the signing of the Lome Peace Accord.
Court adjourned for lunch break.