Witness Provided Assistance To The RUF, Not to Charles Taylor’s NPFL, She Says

A Sierra Leonean businesswoman testifying for Charles Taylor said today that while she helped Sierra Leonean rebels during the country’s 11 years civil conflict, she did not assist Mr. Taylor’s rebel forces in Liberia during its own war.

Lead prosecutor, Brenda Hollis, today sought to establish that the witness, Isatu Kallon, was an influential figure and provided assistance to both the RUF and Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group in Liberia. The witness, while admitting her support for Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF), denied any suggestions that she had links with the NPFL.

“Did you or did you not provide support to the NPFL during the time NPFL controlled Herbel?” Ms. Hollis asked the witness today at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“I did not help them,” the witness said.

When Mrs. Hollis pointed out that NPFL fighters used to eat the food that the witness cooked for sale without making any payment, the witness responded that “that is not direct assistance.”

When confronted with the suggestion that while she was based at NPFL headquarters in Gbarngha that she did provide assistance for the rebel group, the witness said that she only “used to work at the market” in Gbarngha.

She admitted that when a rival rebel faction attacked Gbarngha in the 1990s, she “fled Gbarngha with NPFL fighters and supporters.”

Mrs. Hollis also pointed out that when the RUF signed a peace agreement with the government of Sierra Leone in 1999, the witness was one of the persons selected by RUF leader, Foday Sankoh, as part of a delegation to attend a meeting with Mr. Taylor. The witness agreed that this was the case.

“You were selected because of your close association with both Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor,” Mrs. Hollis suggested.

“No, I don’t know about that one,” Mrs. Kallon said.

The witness denied claims that during the conflicts in both Sierra Leone and Liberia, she was known by the code name “Iron Lady.” According to Mrs. Kallon, nobody ever called her that name and if they ever did, it probably could have been behind her back.

“And they referred to you as Iron Lady because you were such a strong liaison between the RUF and Charles Taylor, correct?” Ms. Hollis asked.

“No. Nobody ever called me that name,” the witness said.

The witness agreed that she carried the code name “Sensitive” — but while admitting that she used that name to communicate with the RUF while she was in Guinea, she denied using the same name to communicate with the NPFL while she was in Danane, Ivory Coast.

“I did not communicate with NPFL,” she said.

In her testimony today, the witness also told the court that after the RUF invasion of Sierra Leone in 1991, her business dipped because she had spent a huge portion of her money to finance the RUF.  Ms. Hollis retorted that the downslide of her business was because Mr. Taylor and the RUF leader Mr. Sankoh stopped paying her for supplying food to RUF and NPFL trainees at Camp Naama in Liberia.

“No. I only had money business with Foday Sankoh,” Mrs,. Kallon replied.

As in her testimony yesterday, the witness again today stated that she never heard that Mr. Taylor supplied arms and ammunition to the RUF.

“Someone in your position — helping the RUF, having given assistance to the NPFL — you know this was going on,” Ms. Hollis said to the witness.

“If I saw it, I’ll say it but I did not see it, nor did I hear it,” Mrs. Kallon insisted.

The witness also today told the court that while she travelled from Herbel to Camp Naama, where RUF fighters were being trained in Liberia, she did not see human skulls displayed at checkpoints as suggested by prosecutors. She did see small boys with guns among those manning the check points, she said.

When asked whether she saw small boys at these check points on her way to Camp Naama, the witness said that “well, these children, they were there, those children, yes, they had weapons but I was not there when they shot them.”

Mrs. Kallon’s testimony continues on Thursday.


  1. Boy oh Boy ! The defense has brought some strong witnesses before but this witness will seal the not guilty verdict for Charles Taylor.


  3. hey people! Ms Hollis has met her match in the “illiterate” witness Isatu Kallon. the west will soon find out that you do not need to be a “book” person to be influencial or to participate in government in west Africa. you can be sufficiently influencial without having western education. our people are more enlightened than some people in the west think. you know, it has been consistently said by opposers that Charles Taylor manipulated the “illiterate” people of Liberia and -according to the prosecution and their supporters- the people of SL also in order to gain power and stay in power. well they have to know that in west africa when you campaign during elections you do not need english or french to get to the heart of the people. you need to talk to them in their own indigenous laguage since that is what they use in their day-to-day lives.

    Ms Hollis has little facts to confront the witness with in order to contradict her testimony instead she kept making fictious suggestions to the witness to either agree or refute and in fact the witness refuted all the incorrect suggestions Ms Hollis made!

  4. Tracey,
    I was wondering if you ever made another attempt to get Mr. David Crane to answer questions on this site ? If so what was his reaction ?

    1. Aki,
      Tracey is way today but am sure she’ll respond to your concern when she gets back.

  5. Ms Hollis….just wrap up please so we can move on!!!! She is not that easy to crack and she did her service a BIG HELP by stating from the get go….she is not good at dates…

  6. Prosecution scores99% and Defense cores 1% in early cross examination of Isatu Kallon! “When asked whether she saw small boys at these check points on her way to Camp Naama, the witness said that “well, these children, they were there, those children, yes, they had weapons but I was not there when they shot them.” The only way Isatu seems to think is that even though she saw these small boys with arms at check points, on her way to Naama, via NPFL Territorial control, from Harbel, was to see them not only shot, but killed passengers that were in her convoy! Poor market woman! What were you doing in these dangerous territories? Seling your your fish to all sides and yet did not remember anything about charles taylor, the Godfather and Patron to your hardware store?

    1. Fallah,
      I know you cannot believe what you saw….like my late grandmom always said…”LAWERYING IS COMMON SENSE MIX WITH SIMPLE LOGIC”. Here we had AN UNEDUCATED WOMAN teaching and showing the CHIEF PROSECUTOR don’t even try it!!!! Trick questions won’t work with me regardless how you frame them….

      I cannot wait for the MONTHLY SUMMARY from our friends in California.

    2. Fallah,
      Stop grabing for air; I will make sure you are bodily represented on the celebration band wagon pounding the drum for the victory march, While DAVENPORT, AKA NOKO7 is holding the welcome banner on the streets of Monrovia……Returning Charles Taylor to the state house…

  7. Woman to woman, I’m sure Ms. Hollis will agree that Mrs. Kallon is intelligent and creditable. Well done madam, welcome home.



    1. I cannot believe anyone on this blog would compare Isatu to Ms Hollis because it is like comparing Boakerie, the rebel renegade, to charles taylor, the commander in chief of NPFL! These, two, even though both are women, one is not at level with the other at all. I admire all women and respect them, but will not, for example, compare a prostitute to a nurse, nor an adulterer to a housewife! There are things that are plainly uncomparable in life and this would be one of them. therefore I would suggest that we focus on what stands as truth in Isatu’s testimony or inconsistencies that create doubts as major concerns. Except, if such comparison is means to hear unfavorable critique from the other side! this, to me, will be unfair to Isatu.

      1. We are comparing their INTELLIGENTS!!!! Ms Kalloh out smarted Ms. Hollis…admit it. Just imagine if Ms. Kalloh was well educated as Ms. Hollis, what you think was going to be climate??

        I didn’t want to score that show but Ms. Kalloh 10 vs Ms. Hollis 0!!!

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