The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • Please proceed, Ms Alagendra.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

    Your Honours, before I proceed with the examination of the witness there is a spelling which I wanted to correct which I had given to the Court yesterday and that was the spelling of the name Manly-Spain. It should be spelt M-A-N-L-Y Spain. I had said L-E-Y.

  • I must confess I thought it was L-E-Y too and if I recall correctly there has been variations over the years, but that will be noted. Thank you, Ms Alagendra. Please proceed.

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, my Lord.

  • Witness, before we continue with your testimony from where we left there are a few matters that I want to clarify with you in relation to your testimony of yesterday. Do you understand that?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Witness, yesterday you testified about a communication between Gullit and Mosquito wherein you said Gullit spoke to Mosquito and he informed him about the Kukuna operation. Do you recall that?

  • Witness, how do you know about that communication?

  • After this Kukuna operation, as I said, the troop came. Bazzy, who was part of the team, came and reported to Gullit and Gullit said they were to tell Mosquito and others about the operation, or to brief them. He called Commander Bomb Blast and myself. We came to the radio set and called Mosquito to inform him.

  • Witness, did you say Bazzy who was part of the train?

  • The team. The team. The team that came from Kukuna.

  • Witness, you were asked a question yesterday about the reinforcements that were released by SAJ and Superman. In one of your answers you stated - your Honours, I am referring to page 8224 of the transcript and particularly to line 13 of that page. Witness, I am going to read you your whole answer so you will know what I'm talking about. You said:

    "As I said, SAJ said that was why he and Superman had sent ahead the mixed troops comprising the SLA, STF, RUF and the former NPFL fighters who came to reinforce and were in waiting for him and Superman to advance to Freetown whilst the others in the rear will also move."

    Now when you said "whilst the others in the rear will also move" who are you referring to?

  • I was referring to the RUF and SLA who were based in Kailahun, Kono and that Daru area.

  • Do you know who the RUF and SLA who were based in Kailahun Kono and Daru were at the time?

  • All what I did - through monitoring we knew that Akim and others were in that Kono axis and they were in that Kono area and some other groups of RUF and SLA were in the Daru Kailahun axis.

  • Do you know who was the RUF that was in the Kono area?

  • Yes, we had Isaac Mongor and others. There was Akim Turay, he was an SLA. There was Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, they came from the Kailahun end and entered through the Kono axis. There was Rambo too, RUF, he too was there.

  • RUF Rambo, where was he?

  • He too was in that Kono axis.

  • Witness, when you were testifying about a communication relating to the weakening of the ECOMOG forces so that ECOMOG will not be able to reinforce their troops in Freetown, you said in one of your answers - your Honours, I am referring to page 8254, in particular to lines 17 and 18. Witness, so you are clear on what I am asking you I will read to you the question that was put to you. The question was: "When you said they were weakening the ECOMOG so they will not reinforce Freetown firstly tell the Court who was weakening the ECOMOG." In your answer you said: "Well, as I earlier said, it was an operation that was planned." That was the answer you gave. Now can you explain what you meant when you said, "It was an operation that was planned"?

  • As I said, according to the radio monitoring the advances were to take place in the various areas that I have named, so he had planned that we, the SAJ Musa squad, were to move towards Freetown and also the SLA/RUF who were in Kono - I mean Kailahun axis were to advance.

  • When you say he had planned that SAJ Musa should advance, who is the he you are talking about?

  • When monitoring was going on these messages that were sent were from Kailahun through Mosquito. All of this plan came from Kailahun through Mosquito, that all the brigades that were in the various areas were to advance.

  • How did you know this?

  • As I explained earlier, when the radio man would get those pieces of information through monitoring he will take them to the commander and he too would even pass it to the operations commander, so those things were in place.

  • He would pass it to the operations commander and who are you referring to?

  • I was referring to Hassan Papa Bangura who was the operation commander at that time.

  • And how is it that you knew about these communications?

  • Whenever this would happen, when the radio man would go he had the paper and he will show it to - he will show the paper to him that this is the information that we've had before they could ever meet and discuss as commanders.

  • And how is it that you knew about this?

  • As I said, when they would bring the document I too would read it because whenever they would bring a message I would read it, because Hassan Papa Bangura could not read, so I read it to see the message that had come.

  • Witness, I had interrupted your answer to seek this clarification, but you were talking about the plan and you had stopped where you said, "He had planned that we the SAJ Musa - we were to move towards Freetown and also the SLA/RUF in Kono - in the Kailahun axis were to advance." Can you continue your answer from there?

  • The SLA and the RUF who were based in that Kailahun Daru area also advanced for Daru. And, as I said, those who were within Kono, Kailahun would advance for Kono. Where Superman were within the Koinadugu area they would advance to Binkolo and we who were in Colonel Eddie Town would advance towards Freetown.

  • Witness, when you speak about monitoring going on can you tell the Court for how long this monitoring was going on for?

  • Monitoring went on right up to 2000 when we were part of the West Side. That went on constantly. It was at the brigade. There was a set for monitoring that went on all throughout the --

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat.

  • Repeat what, Mr Interpreter?

  • After the West Side. After monitoring going on in the West Side.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter hasn't caught up with you. Could you please repeat your answer from the point where you said the monitoring went on up to the West Side. Continue from there, please.

  • I said monitoring went on right up to when we were based at West Side, we were still doing monitoring.

  • And when did this monitoring start?

  • Can I get the question again?

  • When did the monitoring start? You said it went on to 2000. When did it start?

  • As I said, when we were based in Kono we had a monitoring set that we used.

  • Can you tell us when that was in terms of a time frame?

  • That was March, June, July right up to the time we left Kono '98.

  • When you moved to Mansofinia was there still monitoring going on?

  • Yes, my Lord. We had a set and we monitored.

  • Was there a time when the monitoring stopped?

  • Well, the monitoring only stopped when we lost the set at that moment. But we were still using. We lost one of the sets. We lost one of the sets, but communication still carried on.

  • Witness, it's not clear so was there ever a time --

  • Just pause. First of all, Mr Anyah, before you speak I want to clarify something. I understood the witness to say that monitoring still carried on, not the communication still carried on. Mr Interpreter, what did the witness say?

  • Your Honour, I will be grateful if the witness repeats his answer.

  • Before I ask him to repeat his answer I will ask Mr Anyah what his matter was.

  • Yes, I am seeking some foundation. The term monitoring during the course of these proceedings has been given different definitions by different witnesses.

  • I was going to bring that up myself, Mr Anyah. So I will first deal with the wording and then I will ask for clarification because I too want that clarified.

  • Thank you.

  • Mr Witness, when you answered the last question did you say the communication carried on, or did you say the monitoring carried on?

  • I said the monitoring continued.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. And, Ms Alagendra, you have noted both my and Mr Anyah's --

  • Yes, I have, your Honour. I will deal with that now:

  • Witness, first can you tell the Court when you say "monitoring" what do you mean?

  • This communication set, there was the radio man. Their responsibility was to monitor all the areas. They had the battalions in the various areas. They monitored the various activities. Whatever message that would come from Kailahun, that message would come right down to our own area. It was through those monitorings that they would take the message to the commanders.

  • Ms Alagendra, I don't want to take over your examination-in-chief but I am trying to get a picture of what this looked like. Do you mean there was a radio set and it was just on all day talking and you heard, or what do you mean exactly by monitoring?

  • Yes, my Lord, there was a monitoring set almost to the evening time when the solar was on. There would be monitoring right to the evening, from the morning to the evening. We used solar panel. As the sun fell then we will stop the monitoring.

  • With respect, Madam President, there are a number of issues here. Counsel is establishing that monitoring continued or began some time in March through June in Kono District and continued through Mansofinia and Koinadugu District and continued all the way until I think he said right at the end, so we are talking about a three year period almost. There has been evidence during this witness's testimony that monitoring involved sometimes listening to ECOMOG interceptions. This foundation does not establish whether the monitoring we are speaking of deals with listening to ECOMOG vis-a-vis any of the other warring factions' communications and to me it prejudices us in our ability to deal with this evidence, because there is no clarification. It is just a wide sweeping categorisation that monitoring took place. Monitoring of what? Of whom? There is no foundation for that.

  • Ms Alagendra, you heard the objection.

  • Your Honours, if I may. I started this line of questioning to clarify all those issues and if there is anything I do leave out those are matters I am sure my learned friend can raise during his cross-examination.

  • Very well. Proceed and if Mr Anyah presses the objection we will deal with it if the matters he raises are not covered.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Witness, when you say, "The monitoring only stopped when we lost the set at that moment, but we were still using it, we lost one of the sets" and you clarified that monitoring still carried on, what do you mean?

  • As I said, when we moved up to Karina and Mandaha, when the radio man went we had a radio set but we hadn't a mic. We were not communicating, but we were monitoring the activities of our men in the various areas. Not until when we came to Rosos that we got a mic from Batkanu that the communication resumed, but monitoring went on.

  • Now between March 1998 and 2000 that you say monitoring --

  • Excuse me, Ms Alagendra. When he says, "We lost the set" what were they using to monitor? I don't understand. Explain please.

  • Witness, can you clarify that for the Court?

  • We had about two sets that we were using. One of them hadn't a mic. The one we were using had a mic and that was what the radio man went with to Mandaha, but the one that we had which was the spare which was with us, it hadn't a mic so that was what we were using to monitor but we will not send out information, but we would monitor.

  • I am sorry to harp on this point, but does monitor basically mean listen?

  • Witness, when you say the group was monitoring, what were they doing?

  • That was continuous listening. We listened to the radio, but we were unable to send anything because there was no mic. We were just listening.

  • Witness, would you be able to recall what you were listening to over the radio set between March 1998 and 2000?

  • Just pause. Mr Anyah?

  • The question is vague. What was he listening to in a three year period?

  • Well I think it is an attempt to address an objection you raised, but really it is a very wide and somewhat vague question and so more precision, please, Ms Alagendra.

  • Witness, you have said that you were monitoring communications over this radio set.

  • Do you recall what kinds of communication was being monitored?

  • Well one we monitored the various areas, as I said, where the RUF and SLA occupied, and whatever message would come from the high command from Kailahun those messages were also monitored.

  • And when you say "high command from Kailahun", who are you talking about?

  • Mosquito was the leader who was in Kailahun from whom all instructions we had came and all the activities stemmed from there.

  • Is there any other kind of communication that you recall was being monitored?

  • As I can recall, we monitored the ECOMOG movement too in the areas where we were based. Like the Rosos area we monitored their movement, up to Colonel Eddie Town we monitored their movement. Whenever they wanted to make an advance towards our area we knew through the monitoring.

  • How is it you were able to monitor the ECOMOG movement?

  • As I said, we were trained SLA and we were working with them. We would watch through their channel because the communication man would work on the set and we would get the channel and if - and he will tell us that ECOMOG were around that area. If he connected to their set, he will just tell us that he had caught up with their set and he would report to the commander.

  • When you say, "We were trained SLA and we were working with them", who are you referring to?

  • I was referring to the days when we were together with the Nigerians in Freetown. We went through trainings with them so we knew most of their channels, so when we went into the jungle we were searching for their channels and some of the channels we got, particularly the area where we were, because if for example there were radio sets there other - it would have displayed it. If you tune it you could get them and we would monitor that station, what station is that, what was their plan, particularly ECOMOG fighters who were in that Rosos area.

  • Witness, when you were talking about jets you said - your Honours, this is page 8270, line 6. Your response was, "This was the ECOMOG Alpha Jet which we referred to as the 448."

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • What do you mean by this?

  • This was a code that came from Kailahun any time the jet would be moving from any of the positions. If they sent that code through the set, saying that 448 is coming, the radio man would go and alert the commander and report it to the other commanders, including the operation commander, that everybody should disguise and that 448 was about to come. That was the jet in the areas where we were.

  • This message about 448 relating to jets, where were these jets coming from, do you know?

  • According to the messages that Mosquito sent, he said the jets were coming from Liberia. The ECOMOG had a base in Liberia. They were coming from there to attack our positions.

  • Witness, you were testifying yesterday about vehicles - 50 vehicles, you said - which were set on fire near the Old Road. This is at page 8276 of the transcript, your Honours, of yesterday. It is lines 1 to 6 of that page - sorry, 1 to 10. These vehicles that were being set on fire, do you know who they belonged to?

  • When we advanced to Fisher Lane, there were civilians in the vehicles. We saw them running; getting out of their vehicles and running away. Civilians were in that area. When they heard the firing, they went out of their vehicles and they ran away.

  • Was it the vehicles that the civilians ran away from that were set on fire?

  • Yes, my Lord. The vehicles, over 50 that were on that Fisher Lane, we set them on fire and burnt them because Gullit said we should create an obstacle for any ECOMOG armoured personnel carrier that would attack us.

  • Your Honours, for the record Fisher Lane is F-I-S-H-E-R Lane, L-A-N-E:

  • Witness, you testified yesterday in relation to the release of prisoners from Pademba Road Prison that you had information that Foday Sankoh was in prison there. Your Honours, this is page 8270, lines 27 to 29. Where did you get this information from?

  • This information was not a hidden one. We got it over the international media that Foday Sankoh was in prison together with some other people, including SAJ Musa. SAJ Musa's wife was Tina Musa. All of them they said was on in the prisons. It was over the air.

  • What was the name again?

  • Your Honours, it is Tina Musa, T-I-N-A Musa:

  • Witness, can you clarify where was SAJ Musa's wife, Tina Musa?

  • She too was in the Central Prison, Pademba Road.

  • How do you know that?

  • I said it was not hidden. They were all charged to court. It was announced over the international media.

  • You said at the time the prisoners were released Foday Sankoh was not there?

  • Yes, my Lord, because when we entered we saw some other dignitaries, but they themselves confirmed to us that it was that morning that we entered that they took Foday Sankoh from the prisons; the ECOMOG personnel.

  • Where was Tina Musa at the time the prisoners were released?

  • We met her. Tina Musa was one of the people we rescued from prison.

  • Witness, yesterday you were testifying about the composition of the Red Lion battalion.

  • First, can you tell the Court how is it the group came to be called the Red Lion battalion?

  • When they came from Koinadugu to reinforce us that was the name they had, Red Lion. They had their own section within the O-Five group that came. They referred to themselves as the Red Lion. When they came, Gullit established that Red Lion - that group to a battalion. He called them the Red Lion battalion.

  • Witness, when talking about the composition of this Red Lion battalion - at page 8203 of the transcript, your Honours - you did not mention that SLAs were part of the Red Lion battalion, and later at page 8210 you included SLAs as being part of the Red Lion battalion. Now, to be clear, can you tell us again --

  • Well, I am sorry. If I understood counsel's question, counsel referred first to page 8203 and she said the witness's answer did not include SLAs as part of the Red Lion battalion. Well if you go to the previous page 8202, at the bottom of the page, line 24, starting at line 22 actually, she asked the question:

    "Q. Witness, what was the composition of the Red Lion

    battalion?

    A. Well, the Red Lion battalion had Med Bajehjeh who was

    the SLA who led them."

    So, he had already included in the previous page that there was an SLA member and I thought her question was initially when he was asked the question he did not include any SLAs. Am I making sense? She read from page 8203, the page after, saying the witness never included SLAs as members of the Red Lion battalion, but on the preceding page he did.

  • Your Honours, to be fair, my question basically is to clarify an inconsistency and even including that there is an inconsistency. He said SLA first with Med Bajehjeh and then he goes to saying just - then he goes on to say no SLA and then he says SLA.

  • I don't think he said no SLA.

  • Well he didn't include SLA, I beg your pardon

  • I mean there is a difference between a negative answer and an omission.

  • I understand, your Honour. He omitted to include the SLA and then later he included the SLA, so I am merely clarifying inconsistency, your Honour.

  • I understand what counsel is doing and I don't think it is intentional, but I just think we have to be accurate when putting these propositions.

  • First of all, there is the inaccuracy. I am also a little concerned you are beginning to cross-examine your witness. I think you are entitled to clarify it, but you mustn't get to a stage where you are cross-examining your own witness. Just clarify it.

  • Witness, can you tell us what was the composition of the Red Lion battalion?

  • As I said, Med Bajehjeh was the one Gullit appointed to head the Red Lion battalion. He was an SLA. There are some few SLA who were members of the battalion.

  • Apart from the SLAs, what other groups were in the Red Lion battalion? Just give us a complete answer, witness.

  • I said it comprised the SLAs which was headed by Med Bajehjeh, the RUF, the STF and the Liberians, former NPFL fighters, were in this battalion.

  • Witness, those people who were released from Pademba Road Prison on 6 January 1999, do you know what happened to them after they were released?

  • What happened?

  • We told them to report at State House and they reported there. We secured - we protected most of them and we withdrew with some of them as far as Benguema and later they were picked up and taken to Makeni.

  • Do you recall who were picked up and taken to Makeni?

  • Can you tell the Court, please.

  • Former President who was Joseph Saidu Momoh, there was Manly-Spain, Osho Williams and I can also recall Victor Foh. Victor Foh. And some others whose names I cannot recall now, but these were the politicians whom we released from prison.

  • Witness, who was Victor Foh?

  • Victor Foh was also a member. He was working with the AFRC regime in Freetown. He was a politician.

  • Do you recall who picked these people up and took them to Makeni?

  • It was RUF Rambo, Issa and others. They picked them up and took them to Makeni.

  • How do you know this?

  • When we got to Benguema we asked for them and they said they had taken them for safety. They said they were going to as far as Kailahun.

  • As I can recall, Gullit informed us because we were the last batch to withdraw from Freetown and he told us that they had taken them to Makeni but they were to take them to Kailahun.

  • In your testimony yesterday you said the Red Lion battalion, the STF, RUF and the NPFL men --

  • Can I have a page reference?

  • I was coming to that:

  • At page 8298, line 18 you said the STF, NPFL and RUF from the Red Lion battalion used head bands?

  • I asked you what colour were these head bands and your answer - your Honours, I am referring to line 18. Your answer was, "Most of them were red. That is danger. They all had red on." Now apart from red head bands did they wear head bands of any other colour?

  • There were some people in the Red Lion who had white head bands too, some others had red.

  • And those who had white, was there anything written on the white head bands?

  • Some people wrote "RUF" on the white head bands.

  • When you say, "That is danger", what do you mean?

  • Well, this battalion, wherever they got to they will come in a most powerful way. Wherever they go they will perform - then if it comes to attack they will perform very well. If it comes to burning they would do it to extremes. So wherever Red Lion got to, that was danger.

  • Witness, do you recall --

  • Excuse me, is this an interpretation that the witness himself puts on this colour, or was this a policy of Red Lion? Is this his personal interpretation of the colour red?

  • I will ask him, your Honour:

  • Witness, can you explain why is it that you say the wearing of red head bands meant danger as you have explained it to me?

  • When we were advancing even we who were fighting with the team, if the Red Lion battalion was amongst us we will be happy with them because when they are with us we would be happy. The moment we saw them we said, "Oh, danger is here", but then we were really happy with them because they were really hard fighters. When we saw them we just said, "Oh, the danger men have come." The red indicated danger. As soon as we saw them we knew then that danger was in our midst.

  • So, Mr Witness, this was your personal assessment of the colour?

  • All of us who were in the troop, who were in the brigade, when the Red Lion battalion would come all of us would say, "Oh, danger has come", because they tied red head bands. We said, "Oh, danger is here."

  • Witness, when you say, "Danger has come" who did you refer that they were a danger to?

  • I was referring to the Red Lion battalion. Whenever they moved. If we were in this area, for example, and Red Lion battalion came there we said, "Oh, danger is here" because they were really fierce.

  • And they were dangerous to who?

  • They were dangerous to the ECOMOG and even the civilians. What I observed was that most of them had no relations in Freetown, not like us who had family members in Freetown, so they didn't care.

  • What does it mean that they didn't care?

  • They hadn't family members in Freetown. Say, for example, you say, "Okay, let me be careful what I do. I will select among whom I do this too." They were not even familiar to the terrain so wherever they would go they would just be dangerous to anybody they saw.

  • Witness, yesterday you were testifying about a communication between Gullit and RUF Rambo.

  • And in that communication you testified that RUF Rambo said - your Honours, I am referring specifically to line 14 at page 8300. "He said, well, the SLA Rambo, whom we referred to as Red Goat, who was alongside with them." In your testimony so far you have referred to SLA Rambo who was Moses Kabia and who was the chief security officer to Johnny Paul Koroma.

  • No, my Lord. This Rambo Red Goat was Idrissa Kamara. His call sign was Red Goat. It was not Moses Kabia. Moses Kabia had gone before. He was with Johnny Paul Koroma.

  • Your Honours, Idrissa Kamara is spelt correctly in the record:

  • When you say that Rambo Red Goat who was alongside with them, he was alongside with who?

  • Rambo Red Goat was with Superman. They were together with SAJ in Koinadugu, but during the infight he stayed with Superman, so they made a brigade advance with Superman to capture Makeni.

  • How do you know this?

  • Even when SAJ came to the base at Colonel Eddie Town everybody was asking for Rambo and SAJ said he stayed behind, he did not join him. So he stayed behind with Superman. When Rambo came too he explained - when Superman came to Makeni with Brigadier Mani, when they captured there, he explained.

  • What do you mean by, "When Superman came to Makeni with Brigadier Mani, when they captured there, he explained"? When who captured where and who explained?

  • I was referring to - I said when the advances occurred Superman, Brigadier Mani and SLA Rambo, they came from that Koinadugu, Binkolo end and they attacked Makeni and Issa and others came from Kono end and came and attacked Makeni. So they all met in Makeni when Rambo - all of them came to Waterloo and they left him to reinforce us at Waterloo.

  • Witness, at page - your Honours, I am referring to page 8302, specifically to line 5. Witness, I was asking you yesterday about how you knew about the communication between Gullit and RUF Rambo and you said you were at the State House when this communication took place?

  • In your answer you said, "When Gullit mounted the set and called Rambo and Rambo said that they had come as far as Hastings." Just to be clear, who is the Rambo here that you are talking about?

  • RUF Rambo, all of them advanced together with Rambo SLA right up to SLA and they stopped there according to the communication that we got. Then Rambo SLA was released together with some RUF and SLA to reinforce the troop in Freetown.

  • But this communication, witness, "Gullit mounted the set and called Rambo." Just tell us which Rambo he called?

  • Further down at line 7, your Honours, you say: "He said they had some fear in them regarding SAJ." Who had the fear regarding SAJ?

  • According to Rambo, he said they had a fear because there was some confusion between SAJ and Superman. They had a fear because SAJ was still in the group that maybe some infighting could occur again, but in spite of that they will still release some men to join us in Freetown.

  • What do you mean by, "In spite of that they will still release some men to join us in Freetown"?

  • According to Rambo, they had a fear that SAJ was still with the group. So that was why there was some delay. But they said despite that even they will still send a team, because they said they had an information that SAJ had died, but that they will still send a team to reinforce us in Freetown.

  • Despite what would they send the reinforcement?

  • They said even though they had the fear that SAJ was still present there they will still send the reinforcement that the operation would continue.

  • Witness, we are going to continue now from this communication. After this communication between Gullit and RUF Rambo, did anything happen?

  • After this communication between Rambo and Gullit, the ECOMOG forces attacked our position in Freetown and we retreated to Eastern Police.

  • What are you referring to when you say "our position"?

  • We, the SLA, and as I said the troop that Gullit headed to Freetown, that was at State House, ECOMOG attacked our position at State House and we withdrew. We came as far as Eastern Police and we stopped there.

  • Did anything happen after that?

  • After that the government went over the air and said they were asking for ceasefire so they would negotiate with the AFRC/RUF so that they will know how to establish a peaceful atmosphere. While that was going on, we were around Eastern Police when we saw a group of government officials coming from the State House end towards Eastern Police and we ambushed their team. We captured two senior officials of the government and we sent them to the rear, because when we withdrew from State House Gullit and others went and based at Ferry Junction. The brigade moved to Ferry Junction. It was only the fighting force that was at Eastern Police.

  • I want to clarify.

  • Eastern Police, or East End Police?

  • East End Police, your Honour.

  • Your Honours, the witness has been testifying about Eastern Police, but I will ask him to clarify.

  • First of all, there are two aspects. The witness in the past has said Eastern Police, there is a location, and secondly the interpretation is "East End Police", but the record shows "Eastern".

  • Witness, can you be a bit clear. Is it Eastern Police, or East End Police?

  • E-A-S-T-R-E-N [sic] Eastern Police. The police station that is at that side. That junction where Eastern Police is, the junction. The whole area is called Eastern Police, the junction.

  • Continue, Ms Alagendra, please.

  • Witness, when you say government in this context, which government are you talking about?

  • This was the SLPP government which was headed by the former President, Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, in Freetown.

  • Now, you say you captured two senior officials of the government. Do you recall who they were?

  • I have forgotten the name now, but he was a doctor something. I think Daboe, or something like that.

  • Did you know their position in the government?

  • According to what we got, they were ministers. They held ministerial positions in the government.

  • And when you say you took them to the rear, what do you mean?

  • A team moved from Eastern Police where we had stopped and took them to where Gullit and others had withdrawn to after the attack at State House. So that was where our headquarters was then, so this team took the officials to the headquarters at Ferry Junction.

  • So when you say "the rear", are you referring to the headquarters at Ferry Junction?

  • Yes, my Lord. That was the back. In military terms we refer to the back as rear. Behind.

  • What, if anything, happened to these government officials who were taken to the headquarters?

  • When Gullit called from Ferry Junction that we should go and take reinforcement, we went back to the rear and we met - they had been killed and their corpses were displayed around Ferry Junction.

  • Did you come to know who killed them?

  • Gullit said he issued out the order. He asked for the men and he said he had ordered their execution. There was no need for them to be in our midst.

  • Do you know why they were killed?

  • This was an order that Gullit gave out. He said they should be executed. He said they were collaborators and they were the people who fought against us that led us to go into the bush.

  • What, if anything, happened after this incident?

  • After this incident I, Colonel Eddie and others were appointed to go and receive Rambo and his team around the Allen Town area, so we went back and received them at Allen Town and brought them to Ferry Junction.

  • Do you recall who Rambo came with? Well before that your answer "received Rambo", which Rambo are you talking about?

  • This time it was Rambo Red Goat, Idrissa Kamara. He brought the team.

  • Witness, at this stage can I ask you when you are referring to Rambo to be specific as to which Rambo you are talking about, please.

  • Witness, do you recall if Rambo Red Goat came with anyone?

  • How many people did he come with?

  • They were above 50. There were RUF and some SLA whom I knew.

  • Do you recall out of the 50 how many were SLA?

  • The SLAs were very few. The RUF were more in number than the SLA.

  • Are you able to give us a number as to how many SLAs?

  • The SLAs were about 20, but the remaining were all RUF.

  • Witness, do you know who sent Rambo Red Goat and his men?

  • Do you know who sent Rambo Red Goat and his men to Allen Town?

  • As I said earlier, when Gullit called RUF Rambo saying that he had had an order to release reinforcement to enter and reinforce us in Freetown. He said he got the order from Mosquito.

  • After the arrival of Rambo Red Goat and his men, did anything happen?

  • Well the troop had a high morale at that time, because we expected that. Everybody was happy - the RUF, the SLA, everybody was happy - because they were heavily armed. And when they came we all moved to Ferry Junction and Gullit said that we should move and join the team at Eastern Police so that we should advance back to State House, after which we moved and we undertook another advance to State House and recaptured State House.

  • Witness, at this point can you give us a date? What date are we on?

  • Well, this was almost during the third week of 6 January when we entered. That was now the third week.

  • Now, when you recaptured State House at this time --

  • I am a little unclear. The third week of 6 January, what does that mean?

  • Witness, can you be a bit clearer?

  • The third week of January.

  • Of which year?

  • This time when you recaptured the State House, how long did you stay in the State House?

  • Have we got to a stage where he recaptured State House?

  • He said, "We moved and we undertook another advance."

  • "And recaptured State House."

  • Oh, I see. I apologise. I see it clearly now. I withdraw that comment.

  • Witness, how long did the troops stay in the State House this time?

  • Well we did not stay in State House for a long time, but we captured there and we were there on the ground and later we had an announcement over the international media and that was Mosquito again that went over air. He said he was not ready for any peace or ceasefire that the government wanted to establish and that now he was giving order to the commander Gullit, who was in Freetown, to start burning strategic positions in Freetown and to capture civilians. He said they should start burning strategic areas in Freetown and to capture civilians. He said he was not going to accept any ceasefire.

    After that announcement he also called Gullit on the radio set and he told him that the government was about to fool around the troops and the movement. According to him the government was just trying to prepare themselves to reorganise themselves to flush us out of Freetown, and he said from now onward Gullit should start moving with his men around to burn Freetown and burn down strategic areas so that there would be no government and there will be nobody for the government to rule. You will have nowhere to sit and rule.

  • How do you know about this communication?

  • Well, like I said, the one was over international media that we had, and the second one was at the State House after we had recaptured there when Gullit came and he went on the set and Mosquito gave him these orders in confirmation to what was said over the international media.

  • When he said there will be nobody for the government to rule, did he explain what that meant?

  • Well, he said by burning down strategic areas, that is government offices, and by capturing people in Freetown they would not have anybody to rule.

  • Ms Alagendra, what international media is the witness referring to exactly?

  • Witness, you said before this radio communication that Mosquito spoke over the international media. What international media are you talking about?

  • This was the BBC. He went over the BBC. Mostly he used two stations, the BBC and the RFI. Mostly it was through there that the news came up.

  • Did Gullit respond?

  • Well, from that stage Gullit ordered commanders --

  • Witness, I will stop you there. My question is did Gullit respond to Mosquito during this communication?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Can you just tell us what his response was, please?

  • Gullit said, "Yes, sir, I will do according to your wish. Just as you have given me order, I will also order the men now to start the operation to burn down and capture people in Freetown."

  • Ms Alagendra, I'm lost. The witness just testified that this was a broadcast over the BBC. What communication are you talking about?

  • Your Honours, he testified that after the broadcast there was a communication. That's what he was testifying about.

  • Witness, what happened after Gullit responded to Mosquito?

  • Well, after that Gullit ordered senior commanders and he said to them that now we are going to start distributing fuel, petrol to the forces that were in Freetown and those were the ones he held, he leaded, so they started burning.

  • "Those were the ones he held, he leaded", can you explain that?

  • I said Gullit said - he told the commanders that they should start distributing petrol to the troops that he led. He said - they started distributing petrol to all the senior commanders and the junior commanders and they started burning Freetown.

  • How do you know about the orders given by Gullit to the commanders?

  • This was not a hidden order. Mosquito had spoken. Senior commanders were there, we were all there, and Gullit gave the orders.

  • What happened after Gullit passed these orders and the petrol was distributed?

  • Well, from that time Gullit left and went back to the rear and at the same time ECOMOG re-attacked our position at State House and then we started withdrawing and as we were withdrawing we were burning.

  • Witness, as you were withdrawing can you explain the structure of the group that was withdrawing?

  • Well, at this time we had the reinforcement that had come, that is Rambo. We also had the Red Lion battalion. We had the RDF battalion. We were a mixed up set of people, so we were withdrawing all together.

  • Was it an organised withdrawal?

  • Yes, my Lord, it was organised because we were exchanging firing with the ECOMOG forces as we were withdrawing and in the areas where we were withdrawing we went on setting houses on fire.

  • Witness, what was your physical location during this withdrawal?

  • Well, I was with the advance team during this withdrawal together with all the troops, like the Red Lion. The advance team that was withdrawing, because we were the fighting force who were in that area, so whilst we were withdrawing I was with that team.

  • Witness, you said after the State House was recaptured you were pushed out again and everyone retreated to the rear. You explained earlier what was the rear. In this context what are you referring to when you say the rear?

  • Well, I am talking about where the headquarters was now based, because after the first attack the headquarters had moved to around PWD, Ferry Junction area. So that was where the headquarters was based. So that is where I refer to as the rear. So it was just like Gullit and others were coming with manpower and other logistics for the front line, but they had now gone to that area, the rear.

  • When all the troops arrived at PWD do you recall if Gullit said anything?

  • Well, the withdrawal that I am talking about is like this: Where Gullit had gone to the rear but those of us, the fighting force, we withdrew to Eastern Police and ECOMOG also attacked our positions there again. And then when they attacked us there we moved to Mountain Cut and we mounted a defensive there. We stopped there for a while whilst Gullit was at Ferry Junction.

  • At this point now did the group you were with meet Gullit?

  • Well, we still continued to mount defensive until Gullit moved and met us around Savage Square. He himself, Five-Five, Bazzy, they came there, they met us there and told us they have got information that one SLA had been killed around Fourah Bay and he said that the Fourah Bay people had thrown a challenge against us. So he said we should go down there.

    So myself and some other men who were chosen by Gullit, that is I am talking about the fighting force that was around that area, we moved down to Fourah Bay and then we burnt down Fourah Bay and we killed people there. And we withdrew from there again.

  • Witness, the group that went to Fourah Bay, what was it comprised of?

  • Well, Gullit was amongst, Bazzy was there, Five-Five was there and apart from that we had the RUF, the SLA, the STF and the RDF and even the Red Lion battalion members. They were all there, we all went down there.

  • When you went to Fourah Bay can you tell the Court what exactly happened?

  • When we got to Fourah Bay with the kind of order that Gullit had given we went and attacked. We attacked Fourah Bay. We forced people out of their houses. We killed them and then we burnt down some houses in Fourah Bay. That was what happened in Fourah Bay.

  • Who were the people that were killed in Fourah Bay?

  • These were civilians that we met there whom Gullit said they attacked a soldier and killed him down Fourah Bay.

  • Who was the soldier that was killed?

  • Well, Gullit said that it was one of our men with whom we all came to attack Freetown. He said that was the person that they killed down Fourah Bay.

  • How many civilians were killed in Fourah Bay?

  • My Lord, we went there with a team. I did not count. You will see somebody burning on the other side and you will see some other people forcing civilians out of their houses and killing them, but actually I cannot give you an exact figure.

  • The houses that were being burnt in Fourah Bay, do you recall if they were all empty?

  • Well, when we got to that area people were in their houses. We were forcing people out and in fact some remained in the houses and we burnt down the houses, because whenever we went on such a mission we would always make sure that nobody escapes and even there we did not allow anybody to escape, because it was a whole team, including the fighting force, including Gullit, Bazzy and Five-Five.

  • Those people that were in the houses when the houses were being burnt what, if anything, happened to them?

  • Well, they died inside there because, like I said, we would not just set fire on the houses and move. We will stand there until we see that everything was burnt to the ground.

  • How did you know there were people in the houses that were being burnt?

  • Well, you will hear people screaming, people were shouting. When the fire was approaching them you will hear them shouting, screaming.

  • Did you participate in this operation in Fourah Bay?

  • After this operation in Fourah Bay what happened?

  • Well, myself and the whole team that went there withdrew and then we came to Upgun, we mounted a defensive at Upgun because we realised that ECOMOG had come as far as Mountain Cut, so we came to Upgun and mounted a defensive there.

  • When you say mounted a defensive, witness, what do you mean?

  • Well, the defensive that we mounted, we had a strong manpower in that area and then we ambushed all the positions against any attack that will come from the opposite forces. All the areas had guard posts. That was a kind of defensive. Every guard post had a support weapon and the men will be in ambush. The next guard post will have a support weapon and the men will be in ambush all around Upgun area.

  • Can you recall some of the commanders that were in Upgun?

  • Well, as far as I recall Med Bajehjeh was there, Junior Lion was there, Foday Bah Marah, Basky and also Bomb Blast and others who were coming, they were now going, they will pick up reinforcement and bring them. Gullit also used to come, Five-Five used to come whilst we were there on that defensive because at that time the troop was under serious pressure.

  • Witness, can you remind the Court at this stage what was Bomb Blast's position?

  • Well, he was still military supervisor and in Freetown at that moment he was now fully participating in the operations activities.

  • When you were in Upgun do you know where O-Five was?

  • Yes, O-Five was also present at Upgun as operations commander. He was now engaged at the front line.

  • Do you know where Rambo Red Goat was?

  • At this time we all withdrew and the whole team that withdrew from State House as a fighting team, we were all there present. That was the team that blocked that area.

  • Witness, at this point did you have any female fighters among you?

  • Yes, we had women. We had women.

  • Do you recall any of the names?

  • Well, like Adama, she was referred to as Adama Cut Hand, but all of us were commissioned in Colonel Eddie Town as second lieutenant. We all entered Freetown together. She was also there. She was a member of the army.

  • Your Honours, for the record Adama is spelt A-D-A-M-A and the next word is Cut Hand, C-U-T H-A-N-D:

  • Witness, this name Cut Hand, is it a nickname?

  • Well, this name was given to Adama because she always had machete with her and she was not afraid to amputate people. That was why she was given the name Adama Cut Hand.

  • At this time when your group was in Upgun do you know where Adama Cut Hand was?

  • Well, as far as I can recall, she was with Gullit because most times she spent time with the brigade and sometimes she will come to the front, but mostly she was at the brigade headquarter.

  • At this stage now in Upgun was she there?

  • Well, I can't recall that I saw her around that area. Maybe she was, but I can't recall.

  • Did anything happen in Upgun?

  • Well, whilst we were on this defensive at Upgun Five-Five came at a point in time, Major Mines and Kabila.

  • Witness, who is Kabila?

  • Well, Kabila was one of O-Five's men who came from Koinadugu. He was with O-Five.

  • Please continue, witness. Five-Five came with Major Mines - M-I-N-E-S, your Honour, and Kabila is K-A-B-I-L-A. Five-Five came with these men and what happened?

  • Well, when Five-Five came he said, well, now we should start amputating and he said he is going to demonstrate it and they captured about three civilians or so. They had something that we referred to as mortar that is normally used to pound pepper or to pound granite or so. They bought it. He held the civilians' hands and he will say give them - they will put their hands on that mortar and he will say give them long sleeve or short sleeve. Sometimes they will amputate them from the wrist and sometimes around the elbow. And he said this was going to serve as a demonstration and that he came to demonstrate to show us how to start amputating people and he did this demonstration in our presence at Upgun.

  • Witness, I will clarify something with you. You talk about a mortar which is used to pound rice, can you describe what it looks like?

  • Well, this is something that is normally made by our country people. It was something long and they will put your hand there and then they will amputate it. They normally use it to pound pepper. It is something round in shape.

  • Now you say, "They will put their hands on that mortar and he will say give them long sleeve or short sleeve." Did this happen in Upgun?

  • Yes, it happened, my Lord. Five-Five did it. He amputated those people.

  • Witness, when he said long sleeve, what did that mean?

  • Well, long sleeve is from this area. They will cut from this area, going down.

  • For the purposes of record I will note that the witness indicated around the - just above the elbow.

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • Could you please show it again, Mr Witness, as I may have got it wrong.

  • Long sleeve is from this area. Short leave is from here.

  • Excuse me. I will repeat for purposes of record the witness indicated long sleeve is just above the elbow and short sleeve he indicated the wrist. Thank you, Mr Witness. Ms Alagendra, please proceed.

  • Witness, the three civilians who Five-Five amputated, can you describe how they were amputated?

  • Well, when Five-Five came he placed the mortar on the ground and he brought the civilians. He asked them to put their hands on it and they would put their hands and then he amputated them and then he told them that they voted for Pa Kabbah, they should go and tell Pa Kabbah. And the other one, they placed his arm on the mortar and then he amputated him here and then that was the long sleeve. That was what Five-Five did.

  • Witness, when you said here can you point again, where were you pointing to?

  • From this area. I am talking about this area. That is long sleeve. And this area is short sleeve.

  • Out of the three how many had short sleeve amputation?

  • He gave short sleeve to one and the two long sleeve.

  • For the purposes of record, Ms Alagendra, I will note that the witness repeated the demonstration.

  • Witness, just to be clear can you repeat again the man who got short sleeve, which part of his hand was amputated?

  • This area, that was where he was amputated.

  • Did anything happen after this incident in Upgun?

  • Madam President, may the record reflect where the witness pointed to which was his wrist.

  • Yes, thank you, Mr Anyah, for reminding me. The witness indicated the wrist in answer to the question.

  • Witness, who did the actual amputation of these three civilians?

  • Well, Five-Five did it.

  • Did anybody else participate?

  • Well, immediately after this demonstration Major Mines and Kabila also started capturing people around and they started amputating their arms.

  • How many people were amputated by Major Mines and Kabila?

  • Well, I can't recall, but when we were in that area we just saw them capturing civilians, amputating their arms and they were telling them to go and tell Pa Kabbah and that they should tell him that we did it.

  • Was this happening in Upgun?

  • Yes, my Lord, it happened at Upgun.

  • Did you do anything in Upgun?

  • Well, in Upgun what I did was that I was with the defensive force, that is the fighting force, and we were prepared for any attacks from the ECOMOG force. But this demonstration was done by Kabila, Five-Five and Mines. They went on amputating people whilst we were in the defensive position.

  • From Upgun did your troops move anywhere?

  • Well, as the ECOMOG attacked us at Upgun we withdrew and we went to PWD Junction.

  • Did anything happen when you went to PWD Junction?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Well, it was then that Gullit said that now that the ECOMOG has started penetrating he also got an information that the Guineans had moved from Kambia and they have come as far as Waterloo and they were bulldozing their way to hit our team in Freetown. He said now he was ordering that we should start capturing civilians so that indeed we will be able to force the government to recognise us. And that whilst he was withdrawing those of us in the advance team should start burning from PWD up to the area where we would meet them. So Gullit left us and he moved with the brigade and some family members that we had, like I referred to them, the civilians that we captured, and those that we also captured in Freetown. They moved towards Shell Old Road whilst those of us, the fighting force, continued waiting. When the ECOMOG came to Ferry Junction and they started penetrating us we started withdrawing from PWD.

  • Witness, at this time now when the advance team was left behind and the brigade had moved forward who was now in your group?

  • Well, I was among this group. We had Keforkeh and other commanders. We had some RUF, STF and, like I said, some of the Liberian guys that came. We were all in that group because this was now the fighting force that was moving and at any time we retreated the brigade will move. We also had O-Five amongst us. Med Bajehjeh too was with the team.

  • Who were the Liberians guys you are referring to that were now with the rear team?

  • These were the former NPFL fighters who came to reinforce us.

  • Now this group which has now become the rear team, for how long did this group remain as you have described it to be, in terms of its composition I mean?

  • Well, this fighting force remained together until we withdrew to the mental home where they referred to as Crazy Yard. That team remained together until we went to Crazy Yard.

  • Can you tell us where the Crazy Yard was?

  • Well, that mental home is around Kissy, around the Shell Old Road area. That is the area where the mental home is located.

  • Rambo Red Goat, which group was he a part of; the rear group or the group that had advanced?

  • No, he was also with the fighting force. He was with the fighting force. That was the team with which he was.

  • Just to be clear, witness, when you say "the fighting force" which group are you referring to?

  • Well, like I said, this was the group that had mounted the defensive at Eastern Police and that was the same group that captured State House and withdrew. It comprised the STF, the former NPFL fighters, the reinforcement that was brought by Rambo and those of us who had always been together with this group. That was the fighting force I was talking about.

  • Witness, just to be clear again, we are now talking about the time when the group was retreating out of Freetown and up until now we have been talking about a group that remained behind. I want to know when you say "fighting force", which group are you referring to? The group that remained behind, or the group that went ahead?

  • Well, it was the group that was in the front that advanced to capture the State House. That is the advance fighting force. We had another group who were with Gullit. That was the brigade. They also had the family members, but this fighting force was the group that was at the battlefront.

  • Witness, you have just spoken about a fighting force that you were with.

  • Well, like I have spoken about this fighting force, this was the force that advanced to recapture State House, so this is the same force that I am talking about. That was the group in which I was. It comprised the Red Lion battalion mixed with all other groups that I have spoken about, together with SLA Rambo and the reinforcement that he brought. That was the fighting force that I am talking about.

  • Witness, I understand the composition of the fighting force at the time of the recapture of the State House. Now, I am asking you about the composition of the fighting force at a later stage now when the groups were withdrawing out of Freetown. Do you understand my question?

  • Yes, my Lord. This fighting force continued to remain together until we got to Crazy Yard. That is the mental home. We were all together until Gullit left us at PWD and he moved with the family members, but the fighting force still remained together because it was this force that Gullit was always looking up to. Any time the fighting force retreated, the brigade will also retreat. Any time the fighting force moved, the brigade will move.

  • Now at this point that we are just talking about, where was Rambo Red Goat?

  • Like I said, he was among the fighting force. I made mention of him. I said Rambo was always with the fighting force when we went to recapture State House. This force remained together until we withdrew.

  • And this is the force you are saying which remained behind when Gullit and all left Freetown first, am I right?

  • And you have testified that this fighting force remained together until you reached the mental home?

  • And this mental home you said is the Kissy mental home, right?

  • Thank you, witness. Did anything happen now as the groups started withdrawing out of Freetown?

  • Well, those of us who now left the PW area we were going on burning. We would burn places in the PWD area and then we would retreat. We will burn and then retreat. We captured some civilians. That was now what we were now going on doing, because Gullit had passed the order. So, we were now burning houses and then we were capturing civilians and we would take them to the rear. When we went up to Shell --

  • When we got to Shell we met Junior Lion, who was at the junction there, and he told us that Gullit asked him to wait for us there. From there we moved towards Crazy Yard.

  • Witness, what were you burning in PWD and as you retreated?

  • Well, we were burning houses as we went along. Whilst we were retreating from PWD, we were burning houses.

  • The houses that were being burnt during the retreat, were they all empty?

  • No, my Lord, they were not empty because there were areas we saw that they were locked. We saw civilians. We knew that civilians were in there. Some of them we forced them out. Some of them they remained inside there and we set the houses on fire.

  • What happened to those civilians who remained inside when the houses were set on fire?

  • They died. They died in there, because like I said when we did those things we stayed in the area until the houses burnt down and so whosoever was in there died.

  • From PWD to Shell Old Road you said this was going on, am I correct?

  • Do you recall some of the places where this was happening between PWD and Shell Old Road?

  • Like I said, we used that same route when we withdrew from PWD and we went towards Fisher Lane. We went up to Saroulla area and we did it there also, and we went to Shell where we met Junior Lion.

  • Witness, while you were at Shell Old Road did you meet any civilians?

  • Yes. As far as I can recall we met civilians there and we saw Changa Bulanga, who was Osman, also came there. They did amputations there also.

  • Your Honours, Changa Bulanga:

  • It is Changa Bulanga, yes?

  • Yes, Osman Sesay. We called him Osman Sesay, AKA Changa Bulanga.

  • Who was doing amputations there?

  • Well, Changa Bulanga also did amputations there that I saw. I saw him amputate three people there. So we moved together with Junior Lion and we went towards Crazy Yard, where we met Gullit and the brigade waiting for us.

  • The amputations that you saw Changa Bulanga doing, can you describe how they were being done?

  • Well, he also used the same pattern. He brought a mortar and he did long sleeve and short sleeve. I saw him amputate somebody's arm here on this side and the other was amputated here and then he asked them to go.

  • Witness, can you show us again where?

  • Well, the ones - one person's hand was put on the mortar and it was amputated here and the other was from this side, the long sleeve.

  • And just for purposes of record, I note that the witness indicated to the wrist in his first description and the elbow itself in the second description.

  • Yes, Madam President.

  • Witness, how many civilians were amputated above the elbow, or at the elbow?

  • Well those whose arms were cut here were two in number, but the other one it was here and those were the ones that I saw. Then from there we left and we went to meet Gullit.

  • I didn't see what the witness indicated, or if he indicated anything just now when he said --

  • I said the one person's hand was amputated here and the other two they gave them long sleeve here.

  • Thank you. The witness has indicated one person at the wrist and two persons at the elbow.

  • Witness, before you left, do you recall if Changa Bulanga said anything to these civilians whose hands were amputated?

  • Well, what he said was that they should go and meet Pa Kabbah. They were the people who voted for Pa Kabbah. They should go and meet Pa Kabbah to give them hands.

  • Now, from Shell Old Road where did you go?

  • Well from Shell Old Road we went towards Crazy Yard, where we met Gullit and the entire brigade, family members, they were all waiting there. Before we left there, we had some vehicles that were parked around that area. They said - Gullit said we should burn them all and we set the vehicles on fire. Then the whole brigade moved to the hills area around Crazy Yard area.

  • Where were the civilians that were captured in Freetown?

  • We moved all of them. Like I said, they were well secured so that none of them will be able to escape. We had a whole battalion that guarded them. As we were moving, we guarded the civilians and we went up the hills around Crazy Yard.

  • By the time you reached the mental home how many captured civilians were there in your group; that is the fighting force?

  • My Lord, the civilians were many. They were many. The civilians were many. We had children, we had young girls, young men.

  • Witness, when you say "many" would you be able to give us an estimate?

  • Well the men that we captured in Freetown were many, the number was high, because you will see some commanders having more than two women, some more than three women and some with some boys, so it depended on how you were able to guard them and carry them. And all of them were given loads to carry, most of them, and there were even women who were given loads to carry and young men who were given loads to carry too whilst we were making that move.

  • The loads that the civilians were carrying, what were they?

  • Well these loads sometimes they were rice, sometimes valuable materials like good clothing and jean materials. Those were - but they were more of valuables that we moved with, more of food and valuable items. Those were the things that we looted when we came to Freetown, and also money because we did not joke about money issues.

  • Who were these items looted from when you were in Freetown?

  • Well, these were from civilians that we met in Freetown. They were the people we took the things from and, like I said, "From your pocket to my pocket", and if you refused you will die.

  • What do you mean, "If you refuse you will die"?

  • If I said to you, "This wrist watch you are having, I want it from you", if you delayed any moment I will shoot at you. When I ordered you, you should give it to me. If I saw you having on a nice trousers, a nice jean trousers, or a nice shoe, I will ask you for it, but if you refuse to give it to me you will die.

  • Who is the "you" you are talking about?

  • Well, like for instance a civilian. When I was passing by and I saw a civilian as a fighter, when I saw a civilian well prepared, well set up, if I asked you what was in your pocket and if you delayed to take it out you will die. If you delayed to take it out, you will die. If I ask you that, "I want this shirt that you are wearing", you should give it to me. If I asked you for your wrist watch you should give it to me. If you delayed, you will die.

  • How would a civilian die if he refused to give his property?

  • Well, like in my case I had my barrel. If you denied I will shoot at you. In my own case, I was shooting at them. Some men had machetes. They were delaying in killing the people, but I had my barrel. When I asked you and you refused I will just shoot at you.

  • What do you mean by those with machetes were delaying killing people?

  • I said they had their own way. I had barrel, so when you refused me I will shoot at you. Some men had machetes. They had their own ways to take care of you when you refused them.

  • How did the men with machetes take care of civilians who refused them?

  • Well, they will hack you to death. In some areas people hacked people to death. They were not playing about that.

  • Who hacked who to death?

  • Well like anyone of the RUF or the AFRC men who came, some had their barrels, some had their machetes. Sometimes some people will not want to use their bullets, so if they ask you for a property and you refuse to give them they will not use their bullets. They will only use the machetes on you. They will hack you to death.

  • Witness, you have spoken about what you would do to civilians who refused to hand over their properties. How do you know about everything else that you are talking about, about the other men who would kill civilians for not handing over their properties?

  • Well the fighting force that I told you about that I was with, I saw those activities going on amongst them. You will not object anybody, because if some people came, some men came and said, "I need this from you", because some areas where we went when we captured civilians some men will even go to people's houses and ask them for money and they will tell them that, "If you don't give me money, I will burn down this house". Sometimes they gave him the money and he at the same time burnt down the house. Sometimes they even gave him the money and he asked them to go into the house again. He will lock the house and then set the house on fire.

  • Who is "he"?

  • The fighter who will demand. For instance, if a fighter came to this house and asked that, "I want this computer", or a laptop, and he will ask them for money, sometimes the people will say, "Officer, your friends have been here and they have asked us for money and here is the little that we have", he will receive that money and burn the laptop again. That was the things that happened in Freetown. Some men when they did not give him money he will ask them to go into the house and he will lock the house and he will set the house on fire. They will all burn in there. I saw those things happen in Freetown.

  • Witness, you were referring to family members who were at the mental home. You have in the course of your testimony defined what you meant by family members at various stages. Now at this time at the Kissy mental home, when you say family members who are you talking about?

  • Well these family members I was talking about were the captured civilians, including those we captured in Freetown. This was a code that we used to refer to them. We referred to them as family members. So at any time the advance troop was coming the brigade will say, "Let's move with the family members", and so it was those captured people we referred to as family members.

  • After the fighting force arrived at the Kissy mental home, do you recall how many fighters were now with the group?

  • My God, we were more than 3,000 that were now there, because the ones we had freed from Pademba Road and even those of us who came we were now about 3,000.

  • When you reached the Kissy mental home, do you know where Adama Cut Hand was?

  • Adama Cut Hand was still with the troops. She was with the troops.

  • Did you see her at the Kissy mental home?

  • Yes, we all withdrew and they left us in Allen Town and then went as we were moving on in that area.

  • Did anything happen now at the Kissy mental home?

  • Well, yes, something happened at the Kissy mental home whilst we were based there.

  • Your Honours, I note the time and it seems he is going to go into an area which may take a while if we could stop here, your Honour.

  • Well you are moving into a new area, Ms Alagendra?

  • Well, in that case maybe it is appropriate to adjourn and go into that new area when we resume.

    We will take the mid-morning break, Mr Witness, and we will resume again at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn court until 12.00.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Please proceed, Ms Alagendra.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Witness, did anything happen at the Kissy Mental Home?

  • Just as I said, after we had withdrawn and we went towards the east Gullit came and said now the people in Freetown have changed their song, the song which they were singing: That they were our brothers, we wanted peace. Now the people are singing it otherwise: That our brothers have come, they've come to steal. He said so now we should move and go as far as, he said, Ferry Junction. So wherever we met people singing that song, or we see them setting fires, or when we entered Freetown because there was no electricity they used to set fire to secure the area, so he said those peoples were betraying us, we should kill them. We should go back to as far as PWD - I'm sorry, Ferry Junction, whether they were in any of the positions or if - according to the orders, if we met with any of these civilians, or setting fire anywhere, we should kill them because they were trying to indicate our positions.

  • Witness, after you reached Kissy Mental Home and before Gullit passed this order, do you recall if anything in particular happened?

  • As I said, he gave an order to burn down the vehicles.

  • I'm talking about when you were at Kissy Mental Home now. You arrived there and before Gullit passed the order that you're talking about here, did something happen?

  • As I said, the only thing I can recall is when he informed us that that was what was happening then and we were to move down to towards Ferry Junction and he appointed another squad, which included Changa Bulanga and others, they were to go to Low-Cost Housing and they were to ensure that they amputate people and burn houses in that area and we too had to go to as far as Ferry Junction and do these things.

  • Ms Alagendra, is Low-Cost Housing an area? Low-Cost Housing is an area?

  • That is my understanding, your Honour.

  • Is that the evidence?

  • I will clarify that with the witness:

  • Witness, when you say Low-Cost Housing what are you referring to?

  • This place, they called the entire area Low-Cost Housing. These were houses built by the government for people, but they called the whole section Low-Cost Housing. Just after Kissy Mess Mess, it's around the same Kissy Old Road area.

  • Witness, do you know why Gullit was saying that the people were betraying you?

  • As I said, while we were up in the hills we saw people dancing, welcoming the Guinean and ECOMOG troops that had come to the highway, because we were in the hills and we saw them and, as he said, the people were singing that, "They are our brothers, they've come to steal." He said so we should climb down the hill because that was an indication that these people had betrayed us, because they actually wanted ECOMOG to come, so we should go and be burning right up to Ferry Junction and be killing people. He also spoke about Low-Cost, from the area where we were, that Changa Bulanga and his squad should go to that area.

  • Witness, in which hills were you when you saw this?

  • Where the mental home is located, if you go to that area it's a mountainous area. If you go there you can be from - you can be there and see the Shell New Road just after the mental home, it's a hilly place. You can see the streets in Kissy, the other areas in Kissy.

  • And the people who were welcoming the Guinean ECOMOG troops, where they were?

  • We saw them on both ends, the civilians who had hidden, we were seeing them on the New Road and the Old Road. They were dancing - ECOMOG. We were in the hills overlooking and we saw them.

  • What happened after you saw the people dancing and welcoming the ECOMOG?

  • As I said, Gullit reorganised the troops. What I mean by reorganise, he said we should form an immediate fighting team and he said this fighting team should go towards Ferry Junction and the other one should go towards Low-Cost and we should ensure that we burn all the remaining houses that were there, kill the civilians and he also gave order to the others that were going to Low-Cost area, that they were to do the same thing, he said because the civilians were betraying us, he said look at what they were doing.

  • This fighting team that was put together, what was the composition of this team?

  • This fighting team, it was divided. One of the squads went to one area and the other squad that I was part of, there was Bajehjeh and some others, Rambo, Rambo SLA, together with us. We went to that place Ferry Junction area.

  • Witness, the fighting force that was put together, was this the fighting force that was then divided into smaller groups?

  • This fighting force that was in place while we were withdrawing was the same fighting force that Gullit divided, some should go to the Low-Cost area and we moved towards the Ferry Junction area.

  • Is this the same fighting force that was together and was the last group that left Freetown?

  • You gave us the details of the composition of that fighting force. Did it remain the same?

  • And the fighting force that was now dispatched by Gullit at this stage, was that the same fighting force?

  • Yes, but he divided it. It was the same fighting force, but he divided the fighting force. He said some should go by the Low-Cost area and some others should go towards the Ferry Junction area.

  • What happened after Gullit divided this fighting force?

  • I was with the force that went to Ferry Junction together with Med Bajehjeh, there was Rambo, we went to that area.

  • Which Rambo?

  • SLA Rambo, who came to reinforce Red Goat. We came from the hills and we came towards the Kissy market. The area is called Kissy market. So we heard people singing, "They are our brothers", so immediately we went to that area and we shot all of the people. We entered into the houses and killed all of them. We moved towards Ferry Junction.

  • I asked you which Rambo and you said, "SLA Rambo, who came to reinforce Red Goat". Which Rambo are you talking about?

  • Rambo who came to reinforce us, whom we used to call Idrissa Kamara that we called Red Goat.

  • I think you had better ask that again. I'm even more confused now that he's answered that way.

  • Witness, can you be a bit more clear. You said Rambo was part of your group now. I'm talking at this particular point. Which Rambo are you talking about? Just give us the name.

  • This was Red Goat that I'm referring to. SLA Rambo, who came to reinforce us.

  • Was SLA Rambo also known as Rambo Red Goat?

  • That was his call sign. That was his call sign, Red Goat. He was the SLA Rambo, Idrissa Kamara. His call sign was Red Goat, but that was the name we commonly called him.

  • Your Honours, the witness clarified that much earlier when I was asking him the difference between Moses Kabia, SLA Rambo, and this SLA Rambo.

  • I share my learned sister's confusion because I understood that Moses Kabia had left with Johnny Paul Koroma, who was the SLA.

  • Yes, your Honour, and much earlier on this morning when I was trying to find out who is this Rambo and I asked him whether it was the same person as that Rambo he was talking about before, that is when he said, "No, it's SLA Rambo", and he explained Red Goat was a call sign.

  • I am sorry, I'll have to join the judicial crowd, Ms Alagendra. I don't understand what this witness is saying. He said in the beginning of his answer, "SLA Rambo, who came to reinforce Red Goat", and now I'm told they're one and the same person. So, what does that mean?

  • Your Honours, my recollection is this is not the first time the Court is hearing that the SLA Rambo that he's talking about was also called Rambo Red Goat, but if I can have --

  • I am sorry, but just to clarify what I'm asking, he did say, "SLA Rambo, who came to reinforce Red Goat". Now if Red Goat and SLA Rambo are the same person, what did he mean by saying that?

  • Your Honours, that was what I was clarifying, that answer, and he has said, "This was Red Goat that I'm referring to as SLA Rambo who came to reinforce us".

  • Was not Red Goat RUF?

  • No, your Honour, that was always RUF Rambo.

  • I was under the impression that there were three Rambos --

  • Your Honour is right.

  • -- but I think there are two Rambos.

  • There are three Rambos, your Honour. Your Honour is right, but I will get that clear at this stage itself:

  • Witness, in your testimony you've been talking about various Rambos. Now, for the record can you clarify for the Court the different Rambos that you have been referring to?

  • We had Moses Kabia, who was the CSO to Johnny Paul. We called him Rambo. They were the ones who went to Johnny Paul from Gandorhun and they advanced to Kailahun. We had Rambo, who was RUF Rambo, who was the deputy operations commander in Kono. He was with Superman. Then this Rambo, who is Idrissa Kamara, we referred to him as Red Goat. He was an SLA. He was an SLA and so we called him SLA Rambo. He was different from the Rambo who went to Johnny Paul Koroma and he was different too from the RUF Rambo.

  • So, I was right. There are three Rambos.

  • Yes, your Honour, your Honour is right:

  • Witness, when you say "Rambo Red Goat", which one of these Rambos are you talking about?

  • This was Idrissa Kamara, who came together with the reinforcement from Hastings and they reinforced us in Freetown during the 6 January invasion.

  • Also there is Idrissa Kamara, Leather Boot.

  • Is this the same as Idrissa Kamara, Red Goat?

  • Witness, can you clarify that?

  • No, no, Idrissa Kamara, Leather Boot, never came to our own end. We left him in Kono. He never came to us. This Rambo too is called Idrissa Kamara. In Sierra Leone a lot of people can have the same identical names.

  • Witness, when you refer - your Honours, I will try to get it a little bit more clearer if we can. Witness, when you talk about the Rambo Red Goat who was sent as reinforcement to Freetown, which Rambo are you talking about?

  • This is the Rambo I referred to when I said he was with SAJ when the infighting happened in Koinadugu. They together with Superman reinforced, they came and captured Makeni and they all came together with RUF Rambo to Hastings. His name is Idrissa Kamara and at present he is a pastor. He too is doing a pastoral job.

  • Is he the Rambo, Idrissa Kamara, who is also known as Red Goat that came and reinforced your group in Freetown?

  • Now the Idrissa Kamara who you said was also known as Leather Boot, where was he throughout this whole period?

  • Idrissa Kamara, all what we knew was he was in Buedu still with Johnny Paul. He didn't come for the Freetown invasion.

  • And the other SLA Rambo who is also known as Moses Kabia who was the chief security officer to Johnny Paul Koroma, where was he throughout this whole period?

  • He too we understood that he continued to be with Johnny Paul as they left us in Gandorhun and went, so he never came for the 6 January invasion.

  • So, witness, this Rambo Red Goat now who was part of your group that was dispatched by Gullit around the Kissy mental home, this is Rambo Red Goat who is also known as Idrissa Kamara?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Please proceed, witness. What happened?

  • As I said, when we advanced - when we left Crazy Yard we advanced towards an area called Kissy market. It's a market area. The people were singing. They said, "They are our brothers. They've come. They want peace", and so we attacked. We entered the place and we killed them. We moved towards - as far as Ferry Junction and we stopped in that area. We were retreating while burning. We were burning while retreating at the same time. We came back to Crazy Yard and we met Gullit.

  • Do you recall how many people were killed in the Kissy market?

  • It was a fighting team that we took to the place. I cannot recall the number now, but we were taking people from outside of the houses. Everybody was busy taking people outside, killing them.

  • What do you mean "Everyone was busy taking people outside and killing them"?

  • Because when we heard people we moved and went there, taking them out of their houses and shooting them.

  • These people who were being killed, who were they?

  • These were the civilians who were within that area; that Kissy market area.

  • And how were the people being killed?

  • Like me I had my barrel and so I shot them and I saw other people shooting too. Some other people had machetes, some had weapons, but for me I shot them to death.

  • Now, you said you were burning as well.

  • What were you burning?

  • The houses which were within the area where we came from, we burnt them too.

  • The houses that were being burnt, were they empty?

  • Some were empty, but some had civilians in them and we set them on fire.

  • What happened to the civilians who were inside the houses that were set on fire?

  • Well, you would hear them screaming and they died. As I said we set fire and we would be around, surrounding the place, so they died.

  • How many fighters were in your group that went to this area?

  • We were more than 100 who went to that area, because some others went to the Low-Cost Housing area.

  • Witness, do you know what happened in the Low-Cost Housing area where the other group went?

  • No, my Lord, because I didn't go to that place because - but when Changa Bulanga came he said he too had done his operation as he was ordered.

  • Did he explain the details of what he did?

  • Just as we came, Rambo, Med Bajehjeh and others gave their reports, he too came back and gave the same report. He said he went as far as Low-Cost, he amputated arms and he burnt houses. So, he said he completed his mission and we too reported that we had completed our mission.

  • Do you know if anything else happened to civilians around the Low-Cost Housing besides the amputations?

  • As I said, it was what Changa Bulanga was explaining to Gullit that they had gone and killed people, amputate their arms and burnt houses, just as how we too did in our own area.

  • Witness, again you have referred to a Rambo and I'm going to ask you again to please be more specific when you are talking about any Rambo, okay?

  • Yes, my Lord.

  • Now when you say, "Just as we came, Rambo, Med Bajehjeh and others gave their reports", who is the Rambo you're talking about here?

  • I was talking about Rambo Red Goat.

  • And who did they give their report to?

  • It was to Gullit. They went to Gullit and they reported.

  • This time all of us came together. There was no protocols in place. We met Gullit and we told him.

  • Witness, by this time can you give us a time frame of where we are at?

  • As I said, it was almost the third week of January. It was, yes, the third week. The third week.

  • Did anything happen after this incident?

  • After this incident we passed the night and at daybreak Gullit said he had heard information that the people had kept ECOMOG forces in the mosque in that Shell area. He said they had put ECOMOG forces in the mosque and they were lying to us that they were civilians. He said that was a lie. The ECOMOG fighters had just taken off their uniforms, they were not civilians. So he ordered us to go there and kill them.

  • Did he say where he got this information from?

  • He did not tell us. He said he got an information. He said he got an information that the civilians had compromised with the ECOMOG forces and they were hiding them in the mosque.

  • And you said, "He ordered us to go there and kill them." Who did he order to go and kill them?

  • Gullit gave the order and we told Five-Five, that is Santigie Borbor Kanu, to join the team and go to that place.

  • And his orders were to kill who?

  • He said to go and kill those that we will meet in the mosque. He said they were collaborators, they were hiding the Nigerian soldiers.

  • Were you part of the team that went to the mosque?

  • Do you recall which other groups were part of this team that went to the mosque?

  • Five-Five led the team. There were some RUF and some SLAs. Also there was Rambo Red Goat. All of us went down there and Med Bajehjeh too. All of us went there. It was a mixed group that went to the mosque.

  • How many fighters were in this team?

  • We were many, more than 100. We were many because we went as a fighting team. In case we would meet any attack, we would be able to repel that attack.

  • These 100 fighters, which groups were they from?

  • It was a mixed group. There were the SLAs, which Five-Five was amongst. There was Rambo's reinforcement, that was Red Goat. They selected from the groups that went to that place and STF too.

  • Were there any other groups that were part of this team?

  • As I said, Med Bajehjeh was with the team and there was some STF and Liberians, because wherever their commander was there too they were, that was Med Bajehjeh.

  • Witness, when you say some STF and Liberians, who are these Liberians you're talking about?

  • These were the former NPFL fighters who came to reinforce the troop in Colonel Eddie Town.

  • What happened at the mosque, witness?

  • We came down to the area, went to the mosque and saw a lot of people in there and when we saw that then we opened fire. Some attempted to run, some were running away and most of them died in the mosque. Some others actually escaped.

  • Who were the people you found at the mosque?

  • Well, we saw civilians in the mosque. They were many. The mosque was full. As Gullit had said that they had hidden ECOMOG officers in their midst, so when we went we did not search. We just started shooting into the mosque.

  • So you said the mosque was full. How big was this mosque?

  • It is bigger than this place. It's a big mosque. It is in Shell Old Road. A big mosque.

  • Did anything else happen at the mosque?

  • When we went there we killed and withdrew.

  • Where did you go to?

  • Ms Alagendra, it would help if we had some indication of numbers instead of the size of the building, if the witness is able, numbers perhaps and gender of the people that died.

  • Witness, are you able to tell the Court how many people were killed?

  • Well, when we went to the mosque we met suckling mothers and people said they had gone there to seek refuge. So when we went we only went according to the order that we had received. There were many people in the mosque. Some ran away, but we killed a lot of them.

  • What were the ages of the people you met inside the mosque?

  • There were adults among them, there were children, there were young adults and young boys in that mosque. The mosque was full.

  • Did anyone from the mosque survive this incident?

  • Well, the place - the mosque had a fence so we used the gates to the mosque, so some of them jumped over the fence, so those survived, but some of those who could not run away died.

  • Those who died, what was their age group?

  • There were children among them who died, there were adults, there were young and old women too who died.

  • Witness, can you try to give us an estimate of the number of people who died?

  • The people who died were more than 20, those that I saw. Even my own relatives were there. That I learnt later.

  • How did you come to learn that?

  • After the peace, the Lome Peace Accord, when I went to visit my uncle at Guard Street he brought about that same talk, asking me if I didn't know that when we went to that mosque - he said he saw me - if I didn't know that my sisters were there who died and I resisted, I lodged his complaint, I said that time was peace time, you should not bring topics like those to me. But in my conscience I knew what my uncle told me was true. As I said, my uncle told me but I just said no, that's lie, I was not even there. I went and lodged his complaint to the elder uncle that I was not there, he should stop discussing that, and he said, "I am not telling lie about you." He said, "Your sisters were there" - "your cousins", I'm sorry. He said, "Your cousins were there, two of them, female. They were there and they died." That was how I knew that my relatives were there who died.

  • Witness, just to be clear, were you there at this mosque during this incident?

  • My Lord, in fact in that terrain, that area, Kissy, that was where I was born. I was present at the mosque when the incident happened.

  • What happened after this incident, witness?

  • After this incident we withdrew and met Gullit and Five-Five explained that we had destabilised the mosque and killed the people that we met there. So while this was going on we received - we had heavy mortar bombardment in the area where we were based, from the Nigerian and Guinean troops that were along the highway.

  • Please continue, witness.

  • While this was happening Gullit called the commanders immediately and he said now we were to bulldoze. Now we've been pressed from all angles, so if we continue to be here it will be a disaster for us because during that bombardment we lost - a mortar hit and killed some of our men that we released from Pademba Road like Lieutenant Kunateh, he died. Steve Bio, he too we released from Pademba Road, he died. Gullit called Foday Bah Bulldoze, he said he should bring the nuns, about four of them, he said because now the nuns - because when we entered Freetown we captured Bishop Ganda. He said now that Father Mario and Bishop Ganda had escaped and if we said we were going to allow the nuns to escape too that would not be good, so he said we should execute them, so Foday Bah executed them. So from there we left.

  • Witness, I will stop you here. I would like you to clarify something for the Court. Before that, your Honours, Kunateh is spelt K-U-N-A-T-E-H. Witness, who was Kunateh?

  • This was one of the surrendered officers who we met at Pademba Road. He was a lieutenant in the army. We released him when we broke into the prisons. Where they were sitting was where the mortar landed.

  • And who is Steve Bio?

  • Steve Bio was one of the politicians, as I said, who was with the AFRC, together with Gibril Massaquoi, they were in prison. They were the ones we released from the central prisons in Freetown.

  • The name of the father?

  • I would note that that is the first time we've heard them mentioned in evidence.

  • Your Honour has heard Father Mario previously during the Kamalo incident. Bishop Ganda, your Honour, is G-A-N-D-A:

  • Witness, when you say Foday Bulldoze who are you referring to?

  • I'm talking about Foday Bah Marah whom Gullit appointed as the G4 commander. We called him Bulldoze also.

  • Witness, can you explain how is it that the nuns came to be with your group?

  • These nuns, it was the time when we were withdrawing from Eastern Police coming. That was the time they were captured. We met them at that headquarters. They were captured.

  • What nationality were these nuns, do you recall?

  • No, I cannot recall their nationalities, but they were white people.

  • And you were talking about Bishop Ganda escaping.

  • Yes, because he too was captured together with the nuns, but he escaped and Father Mario too escaped.

  • Witness, where were you when the nuns were being killed?

  • This was in our presence when Gullit said Foday Bah should execute them and Foday Bah shot them. Because we had lost these people that I have named he said, "Well, there is no need for us to go with these people, if Father Mario had escaped and Bishop Ganda escaped", so it was in my presence that Bulldoze shot them.

  • Did anything happen to these nuns after they were shot?

  • They died. In fact, we left their corpses there. Even those whom the mortar had hit, we left their corpses there.

  • What happened after this incident, witness?

  • After this incident Gullit said the fighting force should move and go towards Allen Town, but we were bulldozing whilst going towards that end.

  • What do you mean by you were bulldozing?

  • What happened when the ECOMOG were in the New Road and Old Road, he said when the fighting force would come we should start attacking and advancing, moving towards the jungle. That was towards Allen Town.

  • Tamba Alex Brima.

  • And who did he say that the group should start attacking?

  • He said we should move, let the fighting force move and begin to attack any ECOMOG position and clear the highway, so we should advance to as far as Allen Town.

  • Did you reach Allen Town?

  • Yes, my Lord, we left and we moved, but we met a target at Brewery which we engaged. They were the ECOMOG. We pushed them and we advanced and we based at Allen Town.

  • Before you reached Allen Town, did you go to any other place?

  • As I said, we got to Brewery. From Brewery we moved to Calaba Town and we went to Allen Town. We used the Old Road.

  • Witness, the nuns that were killed, where were they killed?

  • Up the hills, Crazy Yard.

  • And this was where again, can you remind us?

  • As I said, this is the mental home towards Shell Old Road, up the hills.

  • So when you left this area, the Shell Old Road, what was the first place you went to?

  • Do you mean when we came from Crazy Yard? When we were coming down?

  • Yes, after the incident, the killing of the nuns?

  • We moved and bypassed and came to Kissy Mess Mess, where the police station was. We advanced and came towards approved school, that is Porty market area, and we advanced towards the Brewery, which I said it's on the Old Road towards Calaba Town.

  • Witness, can you repeat the name of the school again?

  • I used to hear it being called approved school. This was a school where they took wayward boys. They called it approved school, or something like that. That was the name.

  • Would you be able to assist us with the spelling of the word you are using?

  • I think approved is a standard English word.

  • And when you say "Porty market", can you spell Porty?

  • Well Porty it should be P-O-R-T-Y, an area within that section. Porty market.

  • Which section?

  • Porty market is very close - it's not too far from - it's just after you leave Mess Mess, if you're moving forward you'll meet Porty market.

  • Did anything happen on the way?

  • When we were moving we were like wounded lions, because the way we withdrew we were so desperate that we were burning along the way whilst we were coming. Taking civilians from out of their houses, those that we saw that were not fit enough we would execute them and we advanced because it was a mass withdrawal.

  • What were you burning?

  • Some of the houses which were on that area where we came from, the bypass route which we used right on to Shell - I'm sorry, Mess Mess, we burnt them whilst retreating.

  • The houses that you were burning while you were retreating, were they empty, do you recall?

  • Some were empty, some had people in them, but we were moving. Because the brigade was very long, so while the fighting force was ahead we would attack and burn and the other fighting forces on the back would do the same thing. Some would capture civilians and others would be executing them whilst we would be advancing and withdrawing from that area.

  • Witness, those houses which had people in them when you were setting them on fire, do you know what, if anything, happened to those people?

  • Yes, people were screaming and they died.

  • Did anything happen in Calaba Town?

  • As I said, we met a target at Brewery. We were delayed there a little. We pushed the Nigerian troops that were there and we passed through Calaba Town and stopped in the hills of Allen Town.

  • As you were passing through Calaba Town, did anything happen there?

  • Well, like I said, we moved because we encountered an attack around that area, so from that area we did not delay at all. We moved straight to Allen Town and based there.

  • What do you mean you did not delay at all?

  • Okay, now let's say this is Brewery area and it is very short to Calaba Town and that was on Old Road, so when we were attacked by the ECOMOG forces there we did not delay. We repelled the attack and the advanced team moved and we ensured that the brigade and the family members moved and joined us. So, we did not delay. When we got to Allen Town we stopped there.

  • Were there any civilians in Calaba Town at this time?

  • Well civilians were there, but we only came there later. Civilians were there, but by then Gullit had said that we should advance at once to Allen Town. Civilians were there. We saw them up the hills, because we were moving around that area.

  • What happened when you arrived at Allen Town?

  • Well, when we got to Allen Town, Gullit said that he was now going to move with the family members that were in the brigade. Like I said the captured civilians who were referred to as family members, he said he wanted to take them to the jungle so that we will come back and reorganise and then we would arrange how to go back and attack the ECOMOG force. Then he called Hassan Papa Bangura and asked him to organise a team who will go as far as Calaba Town to see what was going on there, and he said they should ensure that anywhere civilians were and houses were they should burn down the area and that they should ensure that Freetown becomes ungovernable.

    So he moved himself, Five-Five, O-Five, Bazzy and some other fighters who joined them. They went to the primary jungle - I mean, the primary jungle where they said they were going to establish a temporary base. So myself, Bomb Blast, Rambo, Med Bajehjeh, who were among the fighting team, we came back to Calaba Town and we attacked the civilians whom we met in that area and we burnt down houses in Calaba Town.

  • Which Rambo, witness?

  • I am talking about Rambo Red Goat. Red Goat.

  • Now this fighting team that came back to Calaba Town, how many fighters were there in it?

  • Well, the fighters were many. We were more than 200 that came down there.

  • Which groups were these fighters from?

  • Well, SLAs were among and Med Bajehjeh who led the Red Lion Battalion was there. There was SLA Rambo Red Goat, we all came down and Hassan Papa Bangura. We all came down the Calaba Town area.

  • Apart from these names you have mentioned, what was the composition of the fighting force at this time in terms of the groups?

  • Well, in this you had the RUF, the SLAs, the STF and the former Liberian fighters; that is the former NPFL fighters. We all came down as a fighting force.

  • What happened in Calaba Town?

  • Well, when we came to Calaba Town we burnt down houses and we killed civilians. That was the reason why we came there. We did not meet any ECOMOG target there. We just burnt down houses and killed civilians and we withdrew again and went back to Allen Town and we created a defensive there.

  • How were the civilians killed?

  • Well we shot most of them to death and some were hacked, because some of our men said they were not going to waste their bullets on the civilians and so most of them were hacked. Some of them in our squad, that was what they did.

  • Do you know how many civilians were killed in Calaba Town?

  • My Lord, if I tell you that I can recall all - the troop that went, we all killed, let me tell you that. I myself, I killed. Other men killed.

  • Witness, the houses that were being burnt, were they empty?

  • Well, some houses were completely empty. In some houses there were people, because if you attempted to come out of the house you were going to be shot, so they just remained in their houses when we were setting them on fire. So whilst the houses were burning, we heard them screaming and they died in there.

  • What happened after this operation in Calaba Town?

  • After that operation we withdrew again and went to Allen Town.

  • Did anything happen when you returned?

  • Well, when we got to Allen Town Hassan Papa Bangura said that they should go and check to see where Gullit and others were, but when they sent a patrol team to check we later discovered that the men had moved, they had gone ahead. Then Hassan Papa Bangura said that the troops should stay and wait for further instruction from Gullit so as to know how we would withdraw to go and meet them. So we spent about two days around the Allen Town area. Sometimes we will just go on food finding patrols, sometimes we will go to Brewery on food finding patrols and then if we met somebody on the way we will kill that person.

  • The people who you met on the way and they were killed, who were they?

  • These were civilians whom we met on the way. When we came down on patrol, if we met anybody on the way we would kill them. We did not want any civilian in that area for them to go and tell ECOMOG about us, that we were based around that area. So when we met them we killed them.

  • Witness, at this time now when you were waiting to hear news from Gullit, where were the civilians that had been captured?

  • The civilians, like I said, they were the family members, they moved together with Gullit in the brigade. They also had manpower with them and it was not until Gullit called us and told us that he had reached Benguema.

  • Witness, the fighting force that you were with that went to Calaba Town, you told us the identity of the groups. Do you recall the age group of these fighters?

  • Well, like I said, we all had SBUs. Every commander who came to Freetown had SBUs, junior commanders had SBUs and the senior commanders had SBU