While we were in Paema in 1998 we saw a squad of soldiers. When they entered the place they started harassing people. When they entered initially they were saying something. They were saying, "Operation Pay Yourself". And during that time they used to take people's property forcefully. Whatever they wanted they would take. It did not just stop there.
No, like for me who had a business, they will just take whatever they wanted to take. If they wanted to take everything, they would just take everything. It was not that we were willing to give it to them. They did it forcefully.
At that time everybody was looking for a way to cross the river to go across. There were many people. Everybody was running for his or her life. I cannot tell you now the number of people who crossed over to Guinea, because some people would come from some other town using the same town to go and cross over to Guinea, so I cannot estimate the number.
Please pause, Mr Witness. The interpreter has not heard you very clearly and he would like you to repeat part of your answer. Please pick up where you said "I had no way to run away." Continue from there.
The time that they came down from the hill I had no chance to escape to go to the street and escape, so I was at the house, when they went to the other side that I was able to pack some few things because if they had seen me packing that wouldn't have been good for me.
The soldier asked him for diamonds and he said he didn't have diamonds, that he was making bricks to renovate their house. He said, for the fact that he was making bricks to renovate his house meaning he had money so he should bring money or the diamonds and because he refused he was shot.
Sori, Sori was a Caterpillar operator. He was by the market. After we had mobilised to bury the first man, they were on the other side of the town and we heard a gunshot and that was Sori who had been - who was killed at that time.
We saw him lying in blood. He was shot around the market area. It was after they had left that we picked the bodies and we tried to bury them, because we knew them. All of us were living in the same town.
If it would please your Honours, I would also point out Mr Santora in the AFRC trial, while leading the witness, gave a different spelling for the name Janneh, than as given by Ms Baly now in court, and I believe it is the same person.
After we had gone we were listening to the radio when we got a report that ECOMOG had overcome the fighters, so if anybody had property back in Sierra Leone that person should return because they could not control the thieving that was going on.
We - whatever we were able to escape with after those men had looted during Operation Pay Yourself, I dug a hole in the ground in my garden and I buried some baling machines and some other things that I had and we covered that with the earth. So that was why we returned, for us to take them out for them not to be destroyed. And my boys did the digging.
It was behind my house, because my house is at the outskirts of the town towards the hill. There was a place where everybody could fetch water. That was where my garden was. It was in that bush that I hid my things.
Yes. Well, that was the language - that was the word they used to use. When we entered the town we did not see anybody. It was when we had entered into the town that they all came out, so we just fell into the ambush.
Mr Witness, it is now time for us to adjourn for today. We will start again tomorrow morning at half past 9. Now that you have taken the oath I must tell you that you are not to discuss your evidence with any other person until all of your evidence is finished. Do you understand this?