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

  • Good morning, Mr Vincent.

  • Yes, good morning.

  • When we closed on Friday afternoon, you were explaining to us the circumstances under which LURD forces forced you and others out of Vahun in February 2003. Do you recall that?

  • Yes, I recall that, yes.

  • And more precisely, when we closed on Friday afternoon, you were explaining how you had retreated southward from Vahun as far as a place called Klay in Bomi County. Do you remember telling us that?

  • What happened when you retreated to Klay in or about February 2003?

  • Yes, after Vahun was attacked, like I had said, we retreated to Kumbo. From Kumbo - we were attacked again at Kumbo and later we moved to an area called Camp Israel. Whilst we were at Camp Israel, we were again attacked by the LURD forces. We then decided to come back to Kumbo. When we got to Kumbo, we met them there because after they had attacked us and we retreated, when we got to Camp Israel, they attacked us again. We thought that that place had been now empty, because always they have the habit, on their way to move they move with their entire force. So we thought since they had left Kumbo, if we when there, they would not be there. But when we got there, they were there and we attacked them and we were able to take Kumbo from them. And after two days we were again attacked, but we did repel the attack. And from there we again moved to Camp Israel, the same place that we had gone to.

    Unfortunately for us, when we got there, they were no longer there, but we left there and they later came and attacked us, and by then some of the AFL were at a place called - there is a town on the highway going towards Lofa Bridge --

  • Your Honours, could the name of the town be repeated.

  • Mr Vincent, could you please repeat the name of the town, the one near Lofa Bridge?

  • Do you know how to spell it?

  • Yes. It's J-A-N-E-T, Janet; M-A - J-A-N-E-T-M-A-M-U, something likes that. Janet Mana.

  • Is the first part of it like the spelling of Janet, J-A-N-E-T?

  • Yes, Janet. Janet Mana. M-A-N-A, something like that, for Mana.

  • Now, Mr Vincent, you mentioned a place called Camp Israel. Is that spelt camp, C-A-M-P?

  • Yes, that's the right spelling, and Israel.

  • How do you spell Israel, if you know?

  • The same spelling as Israel. Can I continue?

  • Well, just a minute. We're trying to clarify the record. When you say the same spelling as Israel, do you mean a particular word like "issue", or do you mean Ishwa, I-S-H-W-A?

  • No, no, no. The place that I told you that Mohamed Tarawalli was trained, Camp Israel.

  • You mean the country Israel?

  • Yes, yes. So that particular area was called Camp Israel.

  • Now, let's consider some of what you said a few minutes ago. You said the LURD forces attacked you when you were in Klay and you went to Camp Israel?

  • No, excuse me, excuse me, please. I'm just stating the time it took me to get to Klay. The circumstances through which I passed for me to get to Klay, that is what I am trying to let you know. I did not just leave Kumbo and then straight to Klay. But I'm letting you know all the areas I passed through before I got to Klay. So can I continue now?

  • Yes, you may continue. You were at Lofa Bridge and this place Janet Mana and you were speaking about the AFL.

  • Yes. The AFL were in Janet Mana. So after we were attacked at Camp Israel, we repelled the attack. And from there - because by then we had actually gone out of ammunition.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to speak up and repeat that area.

  • Sorry, pause, Mr Vincent. Please repeat your answer but speaking a little louder. The interpreter didn't hear you.

  • Yes. What I am saying is that after Camp Israel was attacked, we did repeal the attack. That is, we were able to beat the LURD forces back out of the town. From there we were running out of ammunition, so we decided to go closer to Monrovia. That was how we left Camp Israel and went to Janet Mana. We were based in Janet Mana, but when we got there we met some AFL friendly forces there and all of us joined hands.

  • We're now at Janet Mana and you said a few seconds ago that you met some AFL friendly forces there. With whom were you fighting as you made your way from Vahun down to Janet Mana?

  • We were fighting the LURD forces. They were attacking our positions all over, because I had told you before that we were attacked in Vahun and we - they came and attacked as far as Klay. Can I continue?

  • Not quite yet. I want to know which part of the security forces of the Government of Liberia you were fighting with when you were at Janet Mana. You said you met friendly AFL. With which group were you fighting, you yourself?

  • We were all fighting against the LURD forces and they were part of the AFL forces fighting against the LURD forces and we met them at Janet Mana.

  • Mr Vincent, last Friday you said at some point you left the AFL command structure and you were within the SSS. What I wish to know is, at this time you are fighting in Janet Mana, were you SSS, were you AFL, or were you somebody else?

  • Yes, when I got my assignment as SS personnel I told you that I was reassigned at Vahun operating together with the AFL and it was there that I was classified as AFL because I cannot come to the front and refer to myself as SS personnel.

  • So when you had made your way to Janet Mana were you SSS or were you AFL at that time?

  • I was AFL, yet I had the SS appointment.

  • Were you and the other AFL forces successful in pushing the LURD away from Janet Mana?

  • No, we did not meet enemy forces at Janet Mana. We met AFL forces at Janet Mana and I told you that they were friendly forces that we met at Janet Mana. And from Janet Mana we could not get supplies of arms and ammunition, so since we were running out of those things it was to my surprise that I got an instruction from Benjamin Yeaten that he said there was no longer supplies for us where we were and he said there were no longer helicopters flying over so he said we will not get neither food supply nor ammunition supply. He said we should try and make our way any way possible for us to get to Monrovia. And at that time I had about 220 men with me that was including the other people that I met at Janet Mana. That was the total number that I now had with me. And the person I met at Janet Mana was one Junior Norman. He was a brother to Saifa Norman. Junior Norman was the person I met at Janet Mana and we then decided to put ideas together when I called him and I said now this is the instruction that we do not have any more supplies from anywhere. No food, no ammunition. And that the chief is telling us that we should find our ways to Monrovia. So to me it was then a very hard operation. What then could we have done? Although we already had the tactics to apply, but I was asking him for his own view. So he said well, if that is the case then it has now got to the state wherein we can either survive or we die, so that is how we are going to do it. So I said okay brother, if that is the case I said these men are all junior men so let's use a strategy that we will have supply come for us. Because if we told them that there was no supply and the little thing that we had they didn't want to use it in case of any attack because we already informed them that there is no more supply. So the next moment some will be afraid and they will surrender to enemies so we should tell them that we are expecting supplies so we should find our way - we should tell them that we are going to Lofa Bridge to go and attack. From there we will have to come back here and they will bring some supplies for us.

  • Pause for a minute. You said you and this person Junior Norman devised a plan and you told the troops that you would go and attack Lofa Bridge and then your words were, "From there we will have to come back here." What do you mean "come back here"?

  • That is to go back to Janet Mana. We were trying to find our way. Just as the instruction had come, we were finding our way to get to Monrovia. But we could not tell the forces that we were not going to get any more supplies, so we were now trying to use some guerilla tactics. If you told the men that you were not expecting supplies, they could either do something against you, that is by surrendering to the enemies or some other thing. So that was the strategy that I devised; that we should tell them that we have got an instruction to attack Lofa Bridge and Lofa Bridge was one of our main supply routes where the LURD forces had occupied. So if we attacked Lofa Bridge and we got rid of Lofa Bridge - even if we failed we will come back to Janet Mana. So we will be able to convince them for us to move. And they asked whether we are going to leave some forces behind. I said no, we were all going to move. I said we were not going to leave anyone behind because they had a heavy force and if we came across them, we will not be able to move them. So that was how we left.

  • Can I ask you a question before you continue?

  • Just a few matters. You mentioned you received an instruction from Benjamin Yeaten?

  • In what year and in what month did you receive that instruction?

  • That was around 2003 in the month of May. In the month of May, the early part of May.

  • So by May 2003 on the basis of this instruction you received, is it the case that the Armed Forces of Liberia did not have any supplies, as in food or arms or ammunition, to send to you and others at Janet Mana?

  • Yes, that is what I'm telling you. I was told that there was no more supplies and that the helicopter was not even flying over again to come to us, there was no helicopter moving to our point, and that there was not going to be any food.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down and repeat that area.

  • Yes, just slow down a little bit, listen to the questions, answer the questions you're asked and the interpreter has now asked that you kindly repeat what you were saying a minute ago. Can you complete your answer, please?

  • Yes. What I'm saying here is that when we left Janet Mana to go and attack, we told the men that we were going to return - we were going with all the manpower and that if we return to Janet Mana, if we met any force there we will be able to move with that force. Therefore, we moved and whilst going to Lofa Bridge unfortunately the enemy forces too were coming towards Janet Mana to come and attack us so --

  • Let's pause there. You are now on Lofa Bridge. You are moving towards Lofa Bridge and the enemy forces are coming towards Janet Mana to attack you. Let's pause there for a second. I want to go back to the question I asked you about arms or ammunition in May 2003. When you say that there were no more supplies, there was no helicopter moving to our point and that there was not going to be any food, what do you mean by supplies?

  • Well, when I speak of supplies, our basic needs. The things that we needed to upkeep us during the operation and also to give us stamina because we all know that as a soldier on the front lines if you don't have food, of course the enemy will overcome you because you need to have strength before you can fight. So because we were short of these things we were then living on cassava at that time.

  • Besides the shortage of food, did you have arms and ammunition at that time to fight off the enemy?

  • We did not have enough arms and ammunition to fight the enemies, so our tactics then was now to use our strategy against the enemy so that we will be able to go across to get to Monrovia by all the means, according to how the instruction had come.

  • Was the instruction from Benjamin Yeaten to the effect that there were no more arms or ammunition to send to you?

  • What? Yes, say that question again, please.

  • Why don't you let the witness tell us in his own words what the instructions were.

  • Madam President, yes, with respect, he has said it before. He has said it in several different ways and I'm trying to get him focused. I suspect your Honours may conclude it's tantamount to leading, but --

  • You can still ask the focus that you are looking for without suggesting the answer.

  • You can ask for instance what was the specific instruction relating to such-and-such.

  • Mr Vincent, when you received this instruction from Benjamin Yeaten, what issues did it concern?

  • Well, the issues in the instruction were that there was no longer any supplies and that we should try by all possible means to - for us to enter Monrovia.

  • You said there were not going to be any more supplies and you should try to reach Monrovia. We understand the part about trying to reach Monrovia. This issue of supplies, you've said it included food. Was it limited to only food when you say supplies?

  • Yes, supply in the sense that we were always supplied food and ammunition to upkeep us during the operation and if there wasn't any food or ammunition, then we wouldn't have made it up.

  • Did you have enough ammunition at that time?

  • Why did you not seek to obtain ammunition from Sierra Leone or somewhere else?

  • At that time I told you that we had no more business with Sierra Leone. For me in particular because by then I had already crossed over so I had no more business with Sierra Leone. And it was not in fact possible to get any supplies from Sierra Leone.

  • And why was it not possible to get any supplies from Sierra Leone?

  • Because I had no connection with them. When I took my bag, I crossed over to Liberia so I knew that it was not possible for me.

  • Yes, you say you had no connection with Sierra Leone. What of others with whom you were fighting? To your knowledge did any of them have any connection with Sierra Leone?

  • To your knowledge did Benjamin Yeaten at that time have any connection with Sierra Leone?

  • No.

  • When I interrupted you you were telling us about heading towards Lofa Bridge while simultaneously you said the enemy forces too were coming towards Janet Mana. Can you continue from there, Mr Vincent?

  • Yes. So, as I said, whilst we were heading for Lofa Bridge, unfortunately for us the enemy forces too were on their way coming to Janet Mana to attack us. And we met at a town that is called --

  • Your Honours, the name of the town, please.

  • Mr Witness, please repeat the name of the town.

  • Gold Camp. Gold Camp. Gold Camp.

  • Where is Gold Camp? That is in which county in Liberia is Gold Camp?

  • Gold Camp is in the Cape Mount county.

  • And just to be clear, when you say Cape Mount, is it Grand Cape Mount you're referring to?

  • Yes, Grand Cape Mount County. Janet Mana is also in that same Grand Cape Mount and Camp Israel also is there because we have now left Gbarpolu County, we are now going towards Monrovia.

  • And to the right of Grand Cape Mount County is Bomi County where this place Klay you mentioned on Friday is in. Is that correct?

  • Madam President, I didn't hear any interpretation. I don't know if it was interpreted to the witness what I just said.

  • I did not hear any interpretation too. That was the reason why I did not answer.

  • Mr Interpreter, are you there? Please repeat your question, Mr Anyah.

  • My question was: To the right of Grand Cape Mount County is Bomi County, the county in which you said Klay is located. Yes?

  • Please continue from this Lofa Bridge incident where the LURD forces were coming towards Janet Mana.

  • Yes. So when we got to Gold Camp, we met the LURD forces. We met with the LURD forces there and they were too - also on their way to come and attack us at Janet Mana. So we had a little bit of exchange of fire and the LURD forces went back. So that indicated to us that maybe it was just a small force that was coming and they met with our men. Because we were many, they decided to retreat. And in that, the supply of ammunition that we had was not enough, so we decided to take a bypass after they had retreated to Lofa Bridge. So we bypassed Lofa Bridge. We crossed the river and we went across to the Bomi side.

    When we got there, there is also a town that you get to before you get to Lofa Bridge across Bomi County. Enemies were also occupying that town. So we found it difficult to cross. So what I did was that we left our people - our soldiers in the village and we took some men, including myself, and when we got to that town, LURD forces were there. So how could we have crossed that town without the LURD forces knowing that we were crossing?

    So the men that I took with me, they were brave. We directly walked to them in our arms. We walked to them and I greeted them. The first one said, "My friend, you guys are sitting here and serious operations are going on. Our men are in Bomi Hills and they are advancing towards Monrovia. You people are here enjoying yourselves." So he said, "We are just from Kolahun and I have come to get some manpower here so that we will go and attack Monrovia and that is our target. So you people should provide me with manpower." I am now talking to the LURD forces.

  • Was this LURD soldier asking you, a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia, to provide them with manpower so they could use in attacking --

  • I am asking them for manpower. That was the guerilla strategy that I used. We walked to them bravely without shooting any guns and I told them this: That you people are sitting here, operation is going on, people want to attack Monrovia and here you are here. We have forces in Bomi Hills who are trying to get to Monrovia and you people are here. You are plain. So I want you --

  • Just slow down and continue. We just want you to slow down so we can follow. You were saying all of this to the LURD soldier?

  • And what was the person's response when you told them all of that?

  • I was speaking to the man as a senior man as the kind of command I was giving to him, so he had no right to say anything to me. So I instructed him, the man I met there. I said, "Give me manpower now since you people are here playing. I will need to go and join our brothers in Bomi Hills so that we can go and attack Monrovia." And he got up and he said, "Well, we have some of the manpower at the Lofa Bridge." I said, "Well, go to Lofa Bridge now and get manpower. I will be waiting for you here."

  • Mr Vincent, where were you headed with your forces when this conversation took place? That is, to which part of Liberia were you intending to move from Lofa Bridge?

  • I was on my way going to Monrovia by the instruction given to me by Benjamin Yeaten that I should find my way to Monrovia by all means. So that was the reason why we were heading for Monrovia. And where I had got to know was an enemy territory and I had no other means by which I could cross, so I had to apply my own guerilla tactics to get us a way to cross.

  • Yes, Mr Vincent, the instruction from Yeaten came in May 2003. By the time you had gotten to Gold Camp, what month in 2003 was that?

  • It was in the same May. The instruction was given to me in that May and we started walking directly on the instruction. We started moving the following day. I cannot actually recall the dates, but it all happened in May.

  • Were your efforts to make it to Monrovia successful? That is, did you ultimately make it inside Monrovia?

  • Yes, we made it. But we did not just get to Monrovia right away.

  • How many days, weeks or months did it take you to get to Monrovia from the Gold Camp?

  • From the Gold Camp to Monrovia, it approximately took us about eight to ten days. But we did not just go to Monrovia straightaway, like I told you.

  • Where did you go from the Gold Camp?

  • From Gold Camp, I told you that we bypassed Lofa Bridge and we got at the back of Lofa Bridge and there was the road going towards Bomi and there was a town there. That was where --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to slow down again and repeat that last bit.

  • You are running again with your evidence. You need to slow down. Now, the interpreter hasn't got anything that you said. Please repeat your answer.

  • Mr Vincent, you were saying that when you bypassed Lofa Bridge there was a road going towards Bomi and there was a town there. What is the name of that town?

  • It is a town. I have actually forgotten the name, but there was a town there when you get after Lofa Bridge. If there is anybody here who knows that area, they can call the name of that town, but I cannot actually recall the name. But I was heading towards Sackie Town area. And without going through there we wouldn't have got to Sackie Town.

  • When you say Sackie Town, can you spell us for us, please?

  • Sackie, S-A-C-K-I-E.

  • What we're trying to understand now is how you got from crossing the Lofa Bridge to Monrovia. Just give us a brief description of how you and your troops moved and take us through to when you got to Monrovia. You said it took about eight days.

  • Yes, we took about eight days.

  • Did you go into Sackie Town or did you bypass it?

  • I did not enter Sackie Town.

  • Where did you go after bypassing the Lofa Bridge?

  • When I bypassed Lofa Bridge, I got to a town called Bambo, and it is at Bambo that they have a road going towards Lofa Bridge and it bridges towards Sackie Town, but I had no business going to Sackie Town. So from Bambo I came to Befany.

  • Do you know how to spell Bambo?

  • Bambo, I think it should be B-A-M-B-O, something like that. And from Bambo I went to Befany.

  • And Befany, how do you spell that?

  • Befany, B-Y-A-F-E-N, something like that. It's an African name. Sometimes they are difficult to be spelled.

  • You said it's Befany, is it?

  • Madam President, I will spell it phonetically as B-E-F-A-N-Y:

  • From Befany, where did you go, Mr Vincent?

  • From Befany we came to Bayejah.

  • Do you know how to spell that place?

  • B-A-Y-E-J-A-H, something like that.

  • And in which county is that place?

  • That also is in Bomi County.

  • From Bayejah, where did you go?

  • From Bayejah I crossed the river to a town called Baima.

  • Is that also in Bomi County?

  • It is in Bomi County. Baima is in Bomi County.

  • Was this the trip that you made your way to Klay in Bomi County?

  • Yes, because I had to bypass Tubmanburg.

  • Why did you have to bypass Tubmanburg?

  • I had to bypass Tubmanburg because the LURD forces were there. As I told you, that when we got to the area where the LURD forces were, I walked to them and I claimed myself to be member of them. And I said they were here wasting and their colleagues were advancing towards Monrovia. So I knew that the LURD forces were there, so we had to bypass Tubmanburg when we got to that point at Baima.

  • After bypassing Tubmanburg, to where did you go?

  • Yes. Like I told you, we passed Bayejah. From Bayejah we crossed the river and went to Baima and the next town was Gaya Hill.

  • Do you know how to spell that town, Mr Vincent?

  • Gaya Hill, I think it should be Gaya. I don't know, G-A-Y-A, H-I-L, something like that.

  • And from Gaya Hill, where did you go, Mr Vincent?

  • From Gaya Hill, I passed through my mother, town Behsao.

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that bit.

  • Mr Witness, please repeat your answer.

  • From Gaya Hill, I passed through Behsao and Behsao is a historical cultural village in Bomi County. That is my motherland.

  • Can you spell Behsao for us?

  • Behsao is B-E-H-S-A-O.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent. Did anything happen between this place Behsao and Klay that you wish to tell us about?

  • Yes. That was what I was trying to explain, from where we crossed the road. That was where we encountered serious problem and we lost most of our men there because they were panic. And the next place was Gaya Hill, where we met with some LURD forces also.

  • You met LURD forces at Gaya Hill. How far is Gaya Hill --

  • How far is Gaya Hill from Klay?

  • From Klay, Gaya Hill - it's quite a long distance. I cannot really give the actual mileage, but if you look at it, it could be like almost a whole day walk if you are walking. And from Gaya Hill I got to Behsao, my motherland.

  • When you encountered the LURD forces, do you know whether there were foreign nationals fighting with the LURD as they fought in Gaya Hill?

  • At Gaya Hill, among the LURD forces, I cannot actually tell whether these people were foreign forces. But they had the Mandingos, the Gbandi boys and they had some Kamajors with them anyways. The Sierra Leonean Kamajors, they had some of them were them. And we managed to pass through.

  • When you got to Klay, how many men were with you when you made your way to Klay in Bomi County?

  • Before we got to Klay the men I had with me were now about 180 manpower because some of our men had run away out of panic. Some of them surrendered to the LURD forces. And when we got to Klay we had about 180 manpower including ourselves. But before we got to Klay, after we had passed Behsao we got to the town called Dama. It's D-A-M-A.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent. What happened at Dama?

  • When we got to Dama, that was where we were when we contacted Klay to know who was there, because by then we knew that General Roland Duo had already been attacked at Klay so we were trying to find out who was at Klay and General Roland Duo told us that he was in control of Klay. And he said we should get on the main road. And he said when we moved from Dama we will join the road leading from Klay towards about Gbah and they had just fought there the previous day before we got there. So when we got on the road between Gbah and Klay we met the Roland Duo forces there, and that was the army division men that he was in control of.

  • What was Roland Duo's position within the AFL at this time besides being in control of the army division?

  • Objection. The witness I don't believe has said that Roland Duo was AFL.

  • That's a fair observation:

  • Was Roland Duo - with which armed group in Liberia was Roland Duo associated at this time, Mr Witness?

  • Roland Duo was a general in the AFL at this time I am talking about. General Roland Duo.

  • And who was the commander of the army division at this time?

  • It was General Roland Duo who was the commander of the AF - I mean the army division in the AFL.

  • You said Roland Duo's forces were in control of Klay?

  • Yes, he had captured Klay the previous day before we got to Dama so we had to contact to know who was in control of Klay before we could come there.

  • Did you meet Roland Duo in Klay when you went there?

  • Yes, we got to the junction leading to Klay and Gbah and Roland Duo sent a car for us. And when we got to Klay, we met Roland Duo there and he had already occupied the area that he had taken from the LURD forces the previous day just before we could get there.

  • When you were in Klay and Roland Duo had control of Klay was that the only direction of attack that the LURD forces were using to approach Monrovia?

  • Yes, that's the main highway. That's the main highway leading directly to Monrovia.

  • Were you able to prevent the LURD forces from reaching Monrovia in 2003?

  • We were unable to stop LURD forces but as we are going on, as we continue we will come to that.

  • Carry on then. From Klay and you are now with Roland Duo, what happens?

  • When we got to Klay with the manpower that we had Roland Duo saw us and he was so happy and he stated that he had had - he did not have enough manpower and he said he wanted to keep us on the ground.

  • Your Honours, can the witness be asked to slow down again.

  • Pause, Mr Witness. Please repeat your answer slowly.

  • I said when we got to Roland Duo he was happy to receive us. And he too had wanted to use us again but we were so tired and we were not happy to do any other thing. So whilst we were there, he contacted Benjamin Yeaten and he told him that, "Your men from Vahun have reached my position." So the instruction from Benjamin Yeaten to him was that, "Since the men are tired, I would want them to have their rest before taking up any other operation." So that was accepted. And from there we were taken to a town called Zuanah Town. That is very close to Monrovia. But it's a little bit off from the main road. About a 15-minute walking distance or ten minutes, something like that. That was where we went to have our rest.

  • Mr Vincent, can you spell Zuanah Town for us?

  • It's Z-U-A-N-A-H.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent. Did you rest in Zuanah, or did anything happen?

  • Yes, we had a little rest in Zuanah Town.

  • What happened after that?

  • When we had a little rest, around 22 May we were given another instruction to use a bypass to get to Gbah, where the LURD forces were occupying. That was on 22 May in that same 2003. We used a bypass and we got to a town called Gonzebo and from there we entered the plantation. That is the agricultural plantation.

  • This town Gonzebo, how do you spell it?

  • It's G-O-N-Z-E-B-O.

  • And Ba the previous town, is it G-B-A?

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent. When you got to Gonzebo, what happened?

  • When we got to Gonzebo, we entered the plantation and we attacked Gbah. We attacked Gbah. We did not make it up. So we retreated. And we went to a town between Gbah and Klay where Roland Duo's army division were still occupying towards Klay.

  • Mr Interpreter, what do you mean "we did not make it up"?

  • We did not make it in the sense that when we attacked, the LURD forces overpowered us so we withdrew.

  • How far from Monrovia is this town called Gonzebo?

  • Gonzebo is around --

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat that name slowly.

  • You said Gonzebo is around what area?

  • Guthrie. The Guthrie plantation.

  • Is this a rubber plantation?

  • A rubber plantation, yes.

  • And by this time are you in Montserrado County?

  • Gonzebo and Guthrie, they are all in Bomi County.

  • What would be helpful, what we want to know is how is it that you weren't able to keep the LURD forces out of Monrovia? What was the final event that they overpowered you, so to speak, or how did they push you out?

  • Well, that is why I'm saying that after we had got to Guthrie and attacked Gbah we retreated and went back to a town - the name of that town I don't know now, but it's a very small town, it's right on the main road between Gbah and Klay. We left there and the LURD forces came and overpowered the army division that was headed by Roland Duo in Klay and the LURD forces seized Klay from the army division. So that meant that we needed to tactically retreat from the highway and then go back to Gonzebo and we later went to Zuanah Town.

  • Did your retreat end at Zuanah Town?

  • It did not just stop at Zuanah Town. When we got to Zuanah Town the last checkpoint entering Monrovia was also attacked by the LURD forces so we had to leave Zuanah Town hurriedly to go and seize the bridge that is entering Monrovia. That is now Dualla. And we had to move hurriedly or else our supply, that is our route was going to be cut off. So we hurriedly went and we took charge of the bridge. That is now around the Dualla area. This is - and Broadway is across the bridge by Dualla going towards Monrovia.

  • Mr Vincent, this place that's across the bridge by Dualla going towards Monrovia, how do you say the name?

  • The place to Dualla is a Broadway. Broadway.

  • Did you indeed occupy this bridge in the vicinity of the Dualla area that leads into Monrovia?

  • Yes, we did but we did not stay there. When we took hold of the bridge, the LURD forces came and attacked us at the bridge and we crossed into Monrovia. That was Dualla. Whilst we were on the other side the LURD forces were on the other side. So we were now stopping them from entering Monrovia and they were forcing their way to come to Monrovia.

  • Were they able to make their way into Monrovia?

  • That particular night they did not make it until the following day. They came with a heavy force.

  • And what happened to you and the men you were with?

  • The men that I was with, by then we had now entered Monrovia so all the men were scattered about and even me, myself, when we could not make it for that morning's attack, I left and I went straight to Congo Town where I was residing. I went there whilst the fighting was going on because when I left that Zuanah Town all the things that we had been doing now we were tired. So I actually needed some rest. So I went to Congo Town and I was based there for up to a week.

  • And after the week during which you were based in Congo Town did you resume any military activities in Liberia?

  • Yes. After I had rested for that one week, Benjamin Yeaten called me and said that they had pushed the LURD forces back to Klay. So he said we should go and take a patrol there. So he and I and some other officers, we visited the area and we crossed as far as Po River bridge. We went there and we got to my grandfather's town, Vincent Town. We were there for some time and then we went back to town whilst Roland Duo and his men were still on the highway at Klay.

  • What month and year did this take place in?

  • I am talking about the same May 2003.

  • How far, if you know, were the LURD forces pushed back? That is, to which place in Liberia did you push them back from Monrovia?

  • I was not there when they pushed them back. He only asked me to go with him to go and take some patrol. He told me that they had pushed the LURD forces back to Klay.

  • Did you indeed take a patrol as you were asked to do?

  • Yes. He and I went with his own jeep. He and I went.

  • Mr Anyah, who is the "he" that's being referred to here?

  • I am talking about Benjamin Yeaten.

  • And where did you and Benjamin Yeaten go to in his jeep?

  • We went - we crossed Po River and we stopped at Vincent Town, my grandfather's town. That was where we stopped.

  • Were LURD forces in the vicinity of Vincent Town in Bomi County at this time?

  • Well, I told you that before he and I could go, he told me that the LURD forces had been pushed back to Klay by Roland Duo and his army division men, General Roland Duo.

  • I understand that. What I'm asking you is, when you got to Klay with Benjamin Yeaten, were LURD forces there? Did you see any LURD forces there?

  • We did not get to Klay. I said we stopped in Vincent Town and there were no LURD forces in Vincent Town.

  • Did you take up any fighting at the direction of Benjamin Yeaten at this time when you were in Vincent Town?

  • No. We only spent some times there and we later came back to town. When we went back to town, after three days, the LURD forces again came with a force and crossed over the bridge for the second time.

  • What bridge did they cross for the second time?

  • The bridge that is dividing Dualla and Broadway. The bridge that they had crossed first when I left and went to Congo Town and that was the same bridge that they crossed for the second time.

  • When you had returned I believe you said back to Monrovia, did you at any point after that take up fight against the LURD forces on behalf of the Government of Liberia?

  • No, not any more.

  • How did your association with the AFL or SSS end? How did it terminate?

  • Well, when I went to town after the second attack when the LURD forces crossed the bridge, I was not sent there any longer. But he, Benjamin Yeaten, rather asked me to still continue to have my rest and that he had some other assignments area for me to go. So he said I should stay until 15 June when he gave me some supplies to take for the forces who were in Ganta.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent.

  • Now, we've traced your career from when you left Sierra Leone, I believe you told us in late 2000, all the way now to June 2003 and your time in Liberia. In the entire time you were in Liberia, after leaving the RUF, did you hear anything about Sam Bockarie?

  • Well, when I left the RUF, I got to Liberia towards the end of 2000. Sam Bockarie was not in Liberia at the time I got there.

  • Do you know where he was?

  • Did you hear anything about where he was?

  • Well, except in 2003. 2003, within that same month of May when I heard that Sam Bockarie made an attempt, I did not know what he wanted to do, but he was ordered to be arrested. And it was through cross firing that he was kill. That was the only time I heard about Sam Bockarie from the time I returned to Liberia.

  • When you say you heard Sam Bockarie made an attempt, what sort of attempt are you referring to?

  • Well, I heard that he was entering Liberia with a force of armed men. I didn't know what happened, but I heard that it was there that he was ordered to be arrested and that he resisted arrest and he opened fire on the forces that were attempting to arrest him and I heard later that he got killed.

  • Do you know from where or which country he was attempting to enter Liberia?

  • I heard it was at the border with Ivory Coast.

  • And in which particular county in Liberia is that border with the Ivory Coast you are referring to?

  • Ivory Coast has a border with two counties that I know of, that is, Nimba County and Maryland County.

  • Which of those two counties, Nimba and Maryland County, was the one that you referred to as being the place Sam Bockarie was trying to enter?

  • It was through Nimba County.

  • And you told us this took place in May 2003. Is that what you said?

  • Yes, because at that time the main month that I'm still talking about, I was around the Jojoima area.

  • Did you say you were around the Jojoima area? Is that what you said?

  • Jojoima, no, sorry, I did not want to say Jojoima. I meant Janet Mana area. Janet Mana.

  • In the period of time when you returned from Sierra Leone to Liberia and you told us about the period of time when you were in Monrovia because of a car accident and just a few minutes ago you referred to times in Monrovia when you retreated because of LURD, did you encounter any former RUF members in Monrovia?

  • Well, the people I saw, although I knew some of them to have formerly been RUF, but when I saw them at that time we were all AFL. So there wasn't any RUF in Monrovia because we were all AFL, and most of those people I saw there were people who were with Sam Bockarie before. Some were now ATU and some were AFL.

  • Are you saying the people you saw were, to your knowledge, Sam Bockarie's men?

  • And are you saying that they had - at least some of them had joined the ATU and AFL?

  • Now, Mr Vincent, on Friday you told us about a meeting that was held in the vicinity of the Waterworks in Buedu in 1998. Do you remember telling us about that?

  • Oh, yes, yes, 1998, yes.

  • This was the meeting where you said you were appointed vanguard commander, yes?

  • You told us that after the meeting, indeed before the meeting and after, you were based in the jungle around Kono. Do you recall telling us that?

  • Yes. After the meeting I was sent around the jungle in Kono, yes.

  • And you mentioned one Rambo also known as Boston Flomo. Do you remember telling us about Boston Flomo?

  • Not Augustine Flomo. I said Boston Flomo. Boston Flomo, that was Rambo's real name. Not Augustine but Boston.

  • Yes, I said Boston, but that's fair enough. Boston Flomo, also known as Rambo, was your commander in this Kono Jungle, yes?

  • Objection. The witness hasn't testified

  • [microphone not activated].

  • Madam President, this is already on the record. He said Boston Flomo was his commander. This is at page 38117 on Friday's transcript. I can ask him who his commander was.

  • The objection is overruled.

  • Page 38117 through page 38120. That's the area I'm covering now with the witness just to remind him:

  • Now, Mr Vincent, another witness testified in this Court last year in June 2008 about certain events taking place in the year 1998. Some of it includes the vicinity of Buedu area and they include comments made in respect of Rambo, Boston Flomo, and others. I want to read you some of what that witness said to the Court and I want to ask you what you know about these events. I'll be reading from a transcript from 19 June 2008. I believe this witness testified openly, but I will double-check before mentioning the witness's name. Yes, the witness is Alice Pyne. The witness testified between 17 June 2008 and 23 June 2008. Mr Vincent, do you know an Alice Pyne from the RUF?

  • Yes, I knew Alice Pyne in the RUF.

  • Who is Alice Pyne?

  • Alice Pyne was one of the radio operators and she was Nya Nessian's fiancee.

  • When you say Nya Nessian, you mentioned a radio operator by that name last week, is that the one and the same person you are referring to?

  • Yes. Yes.

  • Alice Pyne was before this Court. The first page I'll read from is page 12237, starting at line 12. So Alice Pyne was before the Court and here is what she told the Court. There was a question asked of Alice Pyne which says:

    "Q. How long did you stay in Buedu?

    A. Three days.

    Q. You said that you saw also herbalists. What do you

    mean by that?

    A. Sam Bockarie took us to a zoebush which was outside

    Buedu where there were some herbalists and juju men who

    said they could protect people, they could protect somebody

    from bullets. They will make somebody bulletproof. Those

    are the people we called herbalists."

    Let's pause there. On Friday, Mr Vincent, you defined for us what a zoebush is. Do you remember telling us what a zoebush was on Friday?

  • Yes.

  • Do you know what an herbalist is, Mr Vincent?

  • Oh, yes. In the African set-up I know what a herbalist is. A herbalist is someone who cures sometimes diseases, you know, and they work out other means to protect people like they usually say from arm or other things.

  • You said from what you know a herbalist is someone who cures diseases and you said they use or work with other means. What do you mean by other means?

  • Other means, by that I mean they make something that they call protection for people, from the African side for people not to attack you - from other African sciences not for them to be able to attack you, because in the African sense you have people who can - who say that people have some diseases that they can throw on people, because I have seen people sick before that they said they threw disease on them, so they said they can protect people from such attacks.

  • Mr Interpreter, did the witness use the phrase "African science"?

  • Your Honours, could the witness be asked to repeat it? Yes, I said African science.

  • Mr Vincent, do you also know the meaning of the term juju men or juju man?

  • Juju man, there are people who are very harmful to other people. Juju, you know? I will give you an example if you want me to. If you want I can give you an example. Can I?

  • Yes, what is the example?

  • Yes. A juju man, the work they do is that when two persons maybe are fighting for a certain position, you know, and the other man wishes to gain the position over the other, they have ways they can make the other person blind or go crazy so that he will not even have the opportunity to get that position, just for that person that went to him to be able to have the chance to get that position.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent. Now, I'll continue to read what Ms Pyne told the Court in June 2008. At line 21 a question was posed, "Do you know why they were brought to Buedu?" The question was rephrased to ask:

    "Q. Do you know why they were in Buedu?

    A. Like I said just now, I understood that why they came

    to Buedu was for them to perform the same juju practice for

    the RUF fighters to protect them from bullets. So they

    will mark the RUF fighters' bodies, so when they go to the

    war front bullets will not pierce their bodies and they

    will be brave enough to do whatever they had gone to do."

    Over to the next page, page 12238. More questions were asked of Alice Pyne regarding the herbalist at line 11:

    "Q. How many herbalists were there?

    A. There were up to seven.

    Q. Do you know where they were from?

    A. I knew they came from Liberia.

    Q. How did you know that?

    A. Well, first was the language that they spoke and, two,

    Sam Bockarie himself, when he was handing them over to

    Superman, that was what he said. And there was an old

    woman who was a Gbandi, the two of us spoke to each other.

    She told me.

    Q. What did the old woman who spoke Gbandi tell you

    exactly?

    A. She told me that they who were the herbalists had their

    boss who was a Loma tribesman. She said Charles Taylor had

    sent them to Sam Bockarie so that they will come and

    protect the RUF fighters' bodies from bullets, particularly

    we who were in Kono for us to be able to recapture Kono

    from the ECOMOG.

    Q. When you say 'to recapture Kono from the ECOMOG', where

    specifically are you talking about?

    A. Koidu Town."

    Let's pause there. Now if I were to read from page 12309 it would confirm that this witness was talking about the year 1998. And at page 12310 the witness says that they cannot remember the exact month in 1998 when this took place.

    Mr Vincent, 1998, Alice Pyne told this Court in Buedu were some herbalists that they came from Liberia, a Gbandi woman told her they were sent by Charles Taylor, the purpose for which was to protect the RUF fighters from bullets, among other things. Now, did you ever hear of the RUF using herbalists to protect their fighters from bullets?

  • Yes, I have heard about that. But this particular group that she is talking about from Liberia, I don't know anything about them, nor did I hear anything about them. It is true that the RUF used herbalists. For example, we had a man that was called Pa Bangali. Pa Bangali was a man who was based in the town called Balahun and he was the man that the RUF had for this protection issues.

  • Now, more specifically, Mr Vincent, did you ever hear of Charles Taylor sending herbalists to the RUF to use to protect their fighters?

  • You told us on Friday about the RUF operation to recapture Kono. Do you remember telling us about that?

  • RUF operation to recapture Kono? Yes, I did say that. That was discussed in our meeting, but I told you that I was not part of it because Rambo had complained me and my assignment was changed from there, so I did not take part in that particular operation.

  • Yes, we remember you saying that. You said you did not take part in it, that you were in Jojoima and this is at page 38120 to 38125 of Friday's transcript. You said you were in Jojoima but you said you knew about the operation in Kono because of communication. Do you remember telling us about that?

  • Yes, that's what I'm telling you. And, like I told you, that operation was in December where they took both Kono and Makeni. That was in December, like I told you.

  • Yes, that is what you said on Friday indeed. But the Waterworks meeting was how many months before December 1998?

  • That meeting, if I'm not mistaken, should have been around August or - August or September. Around August, September, October. Around those three months period. I cannot be too exact, but I think it was around that time.

  • Let me continue reading Ms Pyne's answer but I ask you one question first. Around the time of that meeting that you referred to, August, September, October, that is when you were in the Kono Jungle being commanded by Boston Flomo, yes?

  • Your Honour, I checked the transcript and I don't see where the witness ever said that Boston Flomo was his commander.

  • He doesn't say Boston Flomo was his commander but he does say when he was in an area the commander there at the time was Boston Flomo and let me find it.

  • Haven't we been through this before? Did I not overrule the earlier objection?

  • Yes, you did, Madam President.

  • Based on the fact that this was evidence already on the record.

  • The last question to you, Mr Vincent, was, "Around the time of that meeting you referred to, August, September, October, that was when you were in the Kono Jungle being commanded by Boston Flomo" and you answered yes. Now, let me read what Ms Pyne had to say in addition to what I've just read. Page 12238, line 29 and it leads to 12239.

    "Q. When you say that Sam Bockarie handed them over to

    Superman, what do you mean by that?

    A. That evening that we went there Sam Bockarie introduced

    Superman to the herbalist and introduced the herbalist

    again to Superman and he told Superman what the herbalist

    had come to do. He told Superman that those were his

    strangers, that he was to take them to his base and it was

    from his base all the other commanders will bring their own

    men under their control to have them marked.

    Q. Now, you said that this was to prepare them to try to

    retake Koidu; is that correct?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Was there a name given to this operation?

    A. Yes.

    Q. What was that name?

    A. The name was Fitti-Fatta operation.

    Q. What does Fitti-Fatta mean?

    A. If I can say it it's a Krio word. When everything is

    in abundance, thinking about ammunition that was in

    abundance, arms that was in abundance, manpower was in

    abundance, and the morale booster, that was cigarettes and

    alcoholic drinks they were all in abundance. In other

    words, I mean everything was in abundance."

    Let's pause there. Mr Vincent, a couple of questions. Around the time of the Waterworks meeting where was Superman based?

  • Around the time for the Waterworks meeting, the time that I recall, it was at that time that Superman had already separated himself from the RUF. Superman was with SAJ Musa at the time of that meeting. And it was at that meeting that Sam Bockarie declared the area that Sam Bockarie was as an enemy zone and that anybody who was in that particular zone was considered an enemy to the RUF.

  • Which zone --

  • Please pause. Mr Interpreter, what you've said doesn't make sense. "And it was at that meeting that Sam Bockarie declared that the area that Sam Bockarie was was an enemy zone." Is that what you said, Mr Witness?

  • Yes, the area that Sam Bockarie was - no, I did I not mean Sam Bockarie. I meant Superman. The area that Superman was during that particular meeting. Because at that time Superman had already separated himself from the RUF and it was at that meeting that Sam Bockarie used the remarks that the - that that area that Superman occupied including any other RUF member who was in that particular area, they were all declared as enemies and in an enemy zone.

  • Thank you.

  • Now, when you said Superman was - that Superman had already separated himself from the RUF, and you've told us about this on Friday, what we want to know is where exactly in Sierra Leone, that is, what district was Superman at this time?

  • Superman was in Kabala district with SAJ Musa. SAJ Musa. By then Superman was with SAJ Musa.

  • Before he went to join SAJ Musa, where was Superman based, if you know?

  • Before Superman left to join SAJ Musa, that was when we had retreated after the ECOMOG dislodged us from Freetown and all of us went all the way to Kono and we had a base in the Kono Jungle.

  • Was he based in the Kono Jungle at that time after the retreat from Freetown?

  • Were you also based in the Kono Jungle at that time?

  • Yes, I was in the Kono Jungle at that time.

  • You understand the period of time we speaking about now? This is before the Waterworks meeting, and you said after the Waterworks meeting Superman was now in Kabala. Is that fair to say?

  • I believe he did not say that. Objection, leading. It's suggested.

  • Plus, Mr Anyah, you are saying "he" was based in Kono. Who? Superman or SAJ Musa?

  • I will clarify all of this:

  • Mr Vincent, let's --

  • Please do so without leading. Please do so without leading.

  • Mr Vincent, let's pause now. You've told us about the Waterworks meeting sometime August, September, October 1998. Before that meeting, tell us where you yourself was based.

  • I told you that before that meeting I was in the Kono bush, the Kono zoebush. That was the bush around Kono. That was where I was based at that time.

  • Before that meeting, where was Superman based?

  • Before the Superman - I mean, sorry. Before that meeting, Superman had already left and gone to SAJ Musa's location.

  • And where is SAJ Musa's location you are referring to?

  • SAJ Musa's location was in the Kabala district in Sierra Leone.

  • How many months before the Waterworks meeting did Superman leave to go and stay with SAJ Musa?

  • Well, I can't really recall, but I told you that the meeting was held around those three months. I cannot actually tell the exact time, but Superman actually left before that meeting was called at Buedu.

  • Before Superman left to go join SAJ Musa, where was he based?

  • Superman was with us right in the Kono bush there, the bush around Kono.

  • Thank you, Mr Vincent.

  • Now, have you ever heard of this phrase Fitti-Fatta?

  • Fitti-Fatta, I heard about that phrase, but I was not there. I heard of it, but I was not there.

  • When you say you were not there, which place are you referring to?

  • That Fitti-Fatta? That Fitti-Fatta mission, the place where I heard about it was that it was taking place around Kono. If it was the mission that took place to go to Kono or Makeni, I don't know whether that is the one, but that Fitti-Fatta mission, I really did not understand it. But I know that it was a mission that started around December 1998 to capture Kono and it went as far as Makeni. So maybe it could be that that was the Fitti-Fatta mission, because you said, according to the mission, you said all supplies were in abundance. And if I believe that supply was not in abundance at that time, they would not have advanced that far.

  • Very well. Now, let's continue with what Ms Pyne said to the Court. I am now at page 12240. Question was asked at line 12:

    "Q. Can you explain what you mean when you were saying

    that 'it was from his base all the other commanders will

    bring their own men under their control to have them

    marked'?

    A. At Superman's Ground where we were, that is Meiyor or

    PC Ground, was where the herbalists were based. Superman's

    place was where the herbalists should be, so the other

    commanders who were in places like Yomandu, Gandorhun,

    Tombodu, Tefeya would bring the manpower which was under

    their control, both the armed and the unarmed men, the

    fighters, who were in those respective locations, to

    Superman's Ground and it was there the herbalists were

    doing their work, what they had come to do. They were not

    - they never left Superman's Ground to go to any other

    place. They were based there doing their work.

    Q. Initially, though, this conversation that is occurring

    that you are describing between Sam Bockarie and Superman,

    where is that occurring?

    A. In the zoebush where the herbalists were in Buedu."

    Let's pause there. Did you ever hear, Mr Vincent, of commanders within the RUF in 1998 taking both their armed fighters and unarmed men to a place called Superman's Ground?

  • No.

  • Have you heard of a place called PC Ground before?

  • Well, I heard about PC Ground. It is anywhere that forces would capture and create a base there. That PC means post of command. It's a commanding pose. You can use it interchangeably, either CP or PC, commanding post.

  • Have you heard of a place called Meiyor before in Sierra Leone?

  • That name is very strange to me.

  • Did you ever hear in 1998 of RUF commanders from places like Yomandu, Gandorhun, Tombodu, Tefeya taking both fighters and non-fighters under their control to Superman Ground or where Superman was to have them marked by herbalists?

  • No.

  • We'll continue with Ms Pyne's answer, page 12240, the last line:

    "Q. Now, you said you were in Buedu for three days. Then

    where did you go?

    A. At night we left Buedu and passed the night in Kailahun

    and in the morning we left Kailahun for Koidu with the

    herbalists."

    We go over to the next page, 12242, still the transcript of 19 June 2008. We see that at line 4 of that transcript on that page the witness speaks of sending a message to Komba, Bai Bureh, Rambo, and CO Rocky. This message was sent to where those four persons were. And then we go to line 21 of that page and a question is asked of the witness.

    "Q. When you say 'that Koidu operation', what operation

    are you referring to?

    A. I am talking about the Fitti-Fatta operation.

    Q. What happened after this message was sent?

    A. After the message had been sent, those commanders whom

    I have named, each one of them came with his own manpower

    from his own base, those whom he selected whom he felt will

    be able to go on this mission - this operation. For

    instance, Komba came with his own men, Rambo too came with

    his own men, Bai Bureh too came with his own men.

    Q. So, about how many men in total came?

    A. Well, I did not do a head count of all those who came,

    but there were many.

    A. And do you know approximately how much manpower you had

    at that point at Superman Ground?

    A. We had up to 500."

    Let's pause. Mr Vincent, you told us that you were in the Kono Jungle and at one point you were in the company of the Superman, yes?

  • Yes, I told you that I was in the company of Superman, but Superman was on a radio communication. At the time Superman was in Kurubonla. I only took advantage of this when I was named as the vanguard commander. I'm looking at the situation --

  • Before that period of time when you attempted to send a communication to Superman, before the Waterworks meeting, earlier in 1998, after you had retreated from Freetown, were you based in the Kono Jungle?

  • Yes. When we retreated, I was based in the Kono Jungle, yes.

  • Who was your commander when you were based in the Kono Jungle?

  • When we went to the Kono Jungle at the time, after we had retreated, Superman was the senior man in the Kono Jungle. But the time that I communicated with Superman, it was Rambo who was commander in the Kono Jungle and I left the jungle because Rambo had made a complaint about me to Sam Bockarie.

  • We appreciate that. Let's focus on the time Superman was the senior commander in the Kono Jungle. Now, at that time when you were in the Kono Jungle, did you see any other commanders bringing their men to where Superman was to have their men marked by herbalists?

  • No, not to my knowledge.

  • After Superman had left, this is later on in the year when you were in the Kono Jungle commanded by Rambo or Boston Flomo, did you see Boston Flomo send men under his command to anywhere where Superman was to have them marked by herbalists?

  • When you were under Boston Flomo's command, did you hear of Boston Flomo sending men under his command to Superman to have them marked by herbalists?

  • When you were in the Kono Jungle with Superman after the retreat from Freetown, did you hear of Bai Bureh bringing his men to Superman to have them marked by herbalists?

  • At that time Bai Bureh wasn't even around us. At that time Bai Bureh was not around us. I did not know where his assignment was at that time.

  • What is the full name for this Bai Bureh fellow?

  • Well, I do not have - I don't know his full name. In fact, there were two Bai Burehs. We had the Tall Bai Bureh and the Short Bai Bureh. So I don't know which one you are talking about, whether it's the tall one or the short one, but none of them was with us at that time. I mean within the Kono Jungle. They were within RUF, but they were not with us in the Kono Jungle.

  • Do you know an RUF commander by the name of Komba?

  • Komba? I knew of one Komba Gbundema.

  • Was Komba Gbundema with you in the Kono Jungle when you were there in 1998 with Superman?

  • No. Komba Gbundema was not with us.

  • Did you hear of Komba Gbundema bringing men under his command to that jungle to Superman to have them marked by herbalists?

  • No.

  • Did you see any such thing happen?

  • I am saying no. No, not at all.

  • Do you know a Rocky CO?

  • Yes, I know Rocky CO. I knew him at the time, yes. Rocky CO, I remember seeing him at Kono Jungle but that was during the time of Rambo when he was commander. I saw Rocky CO in the Kono Jungle.

  • When Superman was in the Kono Jungle, are you aware of Rocky CO bringing men under his command to Superman to have them marked by herbalists?

  • Did you ever hear any such thing?

  • No. Not at all.

  • On the same page where I was reading from Ms Pyne's answer continues. This is page 12243, line 8. A question is posed:

    "Q. What happened after these men arrived?

    A. After they had come for the whole day, we were

    receiving these men. The next morning these herbalists

    created a special place for them to be doing this marking

    on the bodies of the soldiers and we went there. Because I

    spoke Gbandi, Superman called me to speak. When that Loma

    Pa was talking, the Gbandi woman would tell me and I will

    interpret what she tells me to those who did not understand

    the language. So it was Superman first who was inside the

    place which was established. They marked there with a

    circle whereby when you entered that circle you did not

    come out until you were marked. I was the second person to

    enter that circle after Superman. I was standing there

    with Superman when I was talking what the Gbandi woman was

    telling me. So when they marked Superman the woman told me

    to sit down. I sat down and they marked me and they marked

    the rest of the other soldiers. We were there up to

    nightfall. They marked us and gave us laws for the

    markings that had been made on our bodies. After they had

    completed the marking, Komba and his men returned to their

    location. Rambo returned with his own men. Bai Bureh

    returned with his own men."

    Let's pause. Mr Vincent, what Ms Pyne was telling this Court was that a special place was created where Superman was where these herbalists marked RUF fighters, some brought from different locations by their respective commanders, Rambo, Bai Bureh, Komba and the like. Are you aware of any such event taking place where over 100 fighters gathered and they were marked by herbalists?

  • I am telling you no. Not at all.

  • Did you ever hear of such an event taking place, Mr Vincent?

  • When you served with the RUF in 1998 were you marked by any herbalist to stop bullets from entering your body?

  • I am saying no.

  • Did you hear of Superman being marked by a herbalist to stop bullets from entering his body?

  • I haven't heard Superman being marked, but during the retreat from Freetown there was performance that he used to put up that meant that Superman was well protected, but I never knew where he got his protection from.

  • What do you mean "there was performance that he used to put up"? What do you mean by that?

  • Performance? I'm talking about when Superman used to challenge bullets openly when they are shooting at him. When they are shooting, he walks towards where the shooting was coming from. That was how I managed to know that he was indeed protected. People saw him do it. I myself saw him once at Lunsar. I saw him doing it, you know. But I did not know where he got his protection from, no.

  • But did you hear of over 500 RUF fighters assembling where Superman was in the company of herbalists?

  • This place zoebush, is it a place that only one sex as in men or women are allowed to go into?

  • Well, when you talk about set aside, traditionally, that is minus the war, it is yes. But during the war we only used the zoebush because that was where we met, organised ourselves. That was where we reserved. It was called a zoebush because it is a hideout, so we called it a zoebush where we kept ourselves. But when you talk about - what do you call it when that is separated from men and women, now you are talking about the traditional part wherein these two societies are separated, wherein you had the Sandes and the Poro. But in this case it is not so.

  • Thank you for that explanation, Mr Vincent.

    Madam President, there is one other area I would like to cover with the witness but it involves a confidential exhibit and there is no way I can do it in public session because it involves a photograph. So I would at this time ask for a private session. The confidential exhibits, if your Honours wish to understand better what I'm referring to, are D-399A, B and C.

  • Yes, I think I know what you are talking about. Mr Koumjian, do you have any objection to a private session now?

  • Right. For the members of the public listening, we need to go into a brief private session because the evidence to be elicited concerns a witness who is protected - who enjoys protective measures in this Court and so this evidence cannot be heard in open court. You'll be able to see inside the Court but you will not be able to hear the evidence. Madam Court Manager, please organise private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 38245 to 38258, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Sir, we want to thank you for coming and giving your evidence here today. Do you hear me?

  • Yes.

  • I would like to begin by summarising some of the main points of your testimony. You were a member of the NPFL who was recruited to the RUF by John Kargbo, another NPFL member, and you served in the RUF up till about 2001. Correct?

  • Up to 2000, not 2001. In 2001 I came to Liberia.

  • Thank you. And in 2001, you went back to serve with Charles Taylor's forces and you were welcomed back by Charles Taylor's forces. Is that correct?

  • Yes, you are correct.

  • And, sir, Mr Vincent, you have told us that the RUF was trained in the middle of Liberia at a camp located at Camp Naama, correct?

  • Yes, you are correct.

  • And that was in NPFL territory, correct?

  • Yes, NPFL territory.

  • You were there from about September until March, so six or seven months, correct?

  • And of these original vanguards, the original group trained in Naama for the RUF that went into Sierra Leone in March 1991, you told us that 252 of 328 were Liberians, correct?

  • So that, sir, according to my calculation is just over three-quarters, does that sound about right?

  • That's just over three quarters of the vanguards who invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia were - these RUF vanguards were in fact of Liberian nationality?

  • And, sir, Mr Vincent, you explained to us something important; that the RUF invaded Sierra Leone in March ahead of the planned schedule, just before the rainy season, because the NPFL had already entered into Sierra Leone. Is that right?

  • Yes.

  • And when you entered into Sierra Leone, the arms that you used were those that had been captured by the NPFL and turned over to the RUF. Is that right?

  • You also told us about how you know about the RUF - and in particular Sam Bockarie - obtaining arms later in about 1998 from a General Fayah, who was the general in charge of Lofa for the Liberian government, correct?

  • You also said you met Daniel Tamba in Buedu and that Daniel Tamba, known as Jungle, had a house in Buedu and he would come and go to Liberia, bringing ammunition to the RUF, correct?

  • And another main point you testified about was that the RUF and the AFL, the Liberian armed forces, after the Lome Accord, sometime later they joined forces to attack Gueckedou and other towns in Guinea, correct?

  • Yes, you are correct.

  • Okay. Thank you, sir. Now I want to go back and take this a little bit slower and go through some of the details of what you have told us. Sir, were you in the NPFL originally in 1990 for one week or for three months?

  • I joined the NPFL as a single-barrel man just within a week plus, because it was in September that I really went. After I had been harassed by one of the NPFL soldiers, after they had taken away my money and the little things that I had, I had no alternative to protect myself from being harassed. I decided to become a part of them.

  • And this experience that you had of being harassed, being helpless to the NPFL fighters, was something that happened to a lot of people, correct?

  • Yes. It happened to so many people, but some people bore it and decided that they should be harassed but would not be a part. Because actually, I never wanted to be a part of any armed group. That was my plan initially, but it was too much for me and I was an able-bodied man. They would not be see me abled and stay like that. All of us would be harassed.

  • So, sir, did you join the NPFL in September, or had you joined in June 1990?

  • It was in September. Can I explain from June? Can I explain something from June? Yes, in June was the time that our area, Bong Mines, was captured, and I was asked - I mean, I was asked about my tribe, and when I named my tribe, that very day I was released and I went home. From there I started my little business. I remained as a civilian. I was not part of the NPFL at that time until I was harassed.

  • If the witness please could be shown the transcript from 24 March of this year, page 37964. Sir, I want to ask you about an answer you gave on - last week.

  • I will read it off the screen. It also should be in front of you. I am going to read from line 14. Defence counsel asked you:

    "Q. We just need to know the period - the months that you

    were with the NPFL?

    A. From June 1990 to September 1990."

    So, sir, was that the truth; that you were with the NPFL from June to September 1990?

  • That is not correct. I was within their controlled territory, but I joined the NPFL in September. I was not NPFL until September. So you say from June to September, you might be correct one way, that I was in their controlled territory and I had no option but to, you know, undergo any consequence that I would have undergone until I joined them.

  • Let's go back to the attack in June 1990. You were working at Bong Mines, correct?

  • Sir, this was one of the most important economic assets of Liberia: Bong Mines. Isn't that right?

  • Can you tell us briefly what was going on - what economic activity, business activity, at Bong Mines?

  • Bong Mines was a mining company. They were mining iron ore. Like you have said, it was one of the important areas for Liberia at the time.

  • And when the NPFL came, you said that the AFL forces - before the NPFL entered - they ran away, the defending forces, correct?

  • So the NPFL entered unopposed by force, correct?

  • And then you talked about the situation where everyone was lined up in a queue and that a young man came to you with a threatening face. Do you recall telling us about that?

  • And that young man was Isaac Mongor, correct?

  • And he interrogated you. Is that right?

  • And in order to check out whether you were a Gola like you said, he had one of his other men come and speak to you in Gola. Is that correct?

  • So did it appear to you that Isaac Mongor was one of the small commanders at that location?

  • From his appearance there, he was not a commander. Like I told you, after Bong Mines was captured the commander whom I knew that was taking care of Bong Mines was Saye Boayue. Isaac Mongor was just like any other ordinary fighter among the fighters. He was not a commander.

  • These NPFL forces - first of all, the force that invaded was the NPFL, correct?

  • Bong Mines, yes.

  • How do you spell the name of that commander?

  • Sir, do you know how to spell the name of the commander?

  • Saye Boayue. S-A-Y-E.

  • And do you know how to spell the family name, the surname, sir?

  • B-O-U-R-Y or Y-O-U, I don't know. I do not know whether that's the correct spelling, but something like that would sound like it.

  • When the NPFL entered Bong Mines, they took over the area, correct? They controlled the territory up until September when you left, correct?

  • And they were targeting Krahns and Mandingos, is that right?

  • What was happening - when you were lined up in the queue, what was happening to those who were Krahn or Mandingo?

  • At that time nothing happened, because before the NPFL can go around that area, they had --

  • Your Honours, can the witness kindly take his answer slowly.

  • Mr Witness, you are going too fast. Repeat your answer slowly.

  • Yes. I am saying that in the queue that we were on, nothing happened there. But when Bong Mines was captured, before they could go to the working places, all those who were in the town who were of this particular ethnic group had all escaped and gone to the various villages, because all of them knew that they were the targets - that they were the targets.

  • There was a civilian killed on 4 June 1990, correct, at Bong Mines?

  • Yes, in Bong Mines around the villages and the other areas when they caught these people who were of these particular ethnic groups.

  • They executed them?

  • Yes, some were executed.

  • You also gave this answer on 25 March, page 37978. I could read it or if, Madam President, you want me to have it brought up to the witness, we can wait for that. Sir, going towards the bottom of the page, you were asked about - you gave this answer on line 19:

    "Q. To your knowledge, were any civilians killed when the

    NPFL captured Bong Mines on 4 June 1990?

    A. Yes, a civilian died but it was not an ordinary

    civilian, apart from, I think, that particular ethnic group

    that I talked about. They were the civilians affected."

    What did you mean, sir, when you said "a civilian died but it was not an ordinary civilian"?

  • Well, when I talk about ordinary civilian, that was my answer. If that was my answer, then it would have been an error. If it was a civilian, it could have been a Krahn or the Mandingo. If I used any word, it could have been an error. If I said "ordinary", it could be either those who would have been killed would have been military people or otherwise. So that's an error.

  • Well, sir, didn't you just tell us that people were killed just because they were Krahn and Mandingo - they were executed?

  • But you don't - you made an error when you made this statement that someone was killed who was civilian, but not an ordinary civilian? Can you explain that again, or was that just an error you made?

  • The understanding that they were not ordinary civilians, probably you will consider it as either a military personnel. That means it's not ordinary. If I say not ordinary, maybe that person may have been connected with some kind of an armed group.

  • Mr Koumjian, I think we are getting further and further lost in the mishmash of these explanations. Just put the question simply to the witness, what he meant by what's on the record.

  • Sir, what did you mean when you said, "A civilian died but it was not an ordinary civilian"?

  • That was what I said. Not ordinary was an error. Not ordinary. If I say not ordinary, then it means that those that died had connection with an armed group. But a civilian died. The answer is that a civilian died who were not part of any armed group. I think that definition is well understood, I believe.

  • Well, let's move on, sir. Now, after you decided to join the NPFL you were given a gun, a single barrel, and assigned to a checkpoint. Is that correct?

  • In Bong Mines, from June to September, how many different checkpoints were set up by the NPFL?

  • Well, you said from June to September. I did not join the NPFL from June to September. It was in September. They had many checkpoints in September, but I was assigned to the checkpoint that was right at the bus stop, right at the bus stop.

  • Thank you. In September you said they had many checkpoints. Can you give us an idea of how many checkpoints?

  • Well, the checkpoints, any road that left any other area to enter into Bong Mines had a checkpoint. For example, there was a checkpoint from - let's say the surrounding towns around Bong Mines. You had checkpoints there. The road coming to enter Bong Mines and the road from Kakata entering Bong Mines, all those areas had checkpoints.

  • Mr Witness, if you know, during this period of time to travel, for example, from Bong Mines to Kakata, how many checkpoints would you have to pass through?

  • From Bong Mines to Kakata we had - from Bong Mines to Kakata, I believe we passed through about three checkpoints. One of the checkpoints was my own checkpoint that I was taking care of that we passed through. Then the second checkpoint was somewhere they called Sherman Farm, two. And the last one to enter Kakata, that is in Kakata itself, I do not know the name of that area.

  • Okay. Sir, and who were the people that would man the checkpoints?

  • They were NPFL checkpoints.

  • So they were NPFL fighters that manned the checkpoints. Is that right?

  • What was the age range of those that manned the checkpoints?

  • These checkpoints, they were all grown up men. I cannot really give you their ages, but I know that their ages would range from 18 upwards.

  • Really, sir, are you saying under oath that there were no soldiers under 18 at the checkpoints?

  • Well, I cannot exactly tell you that there were no soldiers under 18. I am telling you what I saw. I was not there to ask their ages. I passed through.

  • Sir, were checkpoints called gates? Was that another name that they were given?

  • What exactly was your job at the checkpoint? Tell us what you would do when you took care of a checkpoint.

  • Well, I was at the checkpoint as a single-barrel man. They had fighters there to open the gates. Sometimes they would ask me to go and drop the gate for people to pass through. But when they see officers of the NPFL, they themselves would go and open the gates because that was where they had to do saluting and give courtesies and I was not trained to do that. So when they see the officers coming, they themselves would go and open the gate.

  • What if it was not an officer? What happened to other people that tried to pass through the gate?

  • Like other fighters among them who were not officers as they were coming, they would send me and I will go and drop the gate and they will pass. If a civilian was coming, I would open the gate and they would pass. That is what I mean.

  • Well, sir, was it the case then that you would simply opened the gate for anyone who came by?

  • I was not there to open the gate until I am told to do so. If I am not told, I won't do it.

  • Besides just opening the gate, was there any check done on the people that would try to pass these checkpoints?

  • Yes. That was their responsibility. That was why I said, when I received instructions, I waited until they do whatever investigation they had to do. Then they would tell me go and open the gate and I would go and open the gate. I wouldn't just see somebody coming and I would go and open the gate.

  • What kind of investigations were done of these people before the order was given to open the gate or not?

  • Well, investigations in a sense trying to find out whether the people were soldiers of the AFL or they were Krahn or Mandingos. If they found out that these people were not of these particular groups, they would tell me to open the gate and I will open the gate.

  • What if they were Krahn or Mandingo?

  • If they were Krahn or Mandingo, though I was there, I did not see them holding somebody who was a Krahn or Mandingo. But I believe that if they had found that person, they would either kill that person or they would take that person to the high command.

  • At Bong Mines, did you have any Nigerians or Sierra Leonean nationals working there before the June attack?

  • There were many foreigners working for the company.

  • What happened to the Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans in the Bong Mines area after the NPFL - after you began working for the NPFL in September 1990?

  • Well, from what I saw, the Sierra Leoneans were not bothered at that time, nor were the Nigerians, when I was there. They were never bothered. The only people who were bothered like I told you were those who were either ex-security personnel or a Krahn or a Mandingo.

  • Now, sir, you were recruited to the RUF by another NPFL soldier, John Kargbo, correct?

  • John Kargbo, yes, he was an NPFL soldier, but later he joined the RUF as a Sierra Leonean because the revolution was going to his home. So he now became an RUF when I was recruited by him.

  • Well, when he talked to you and recruited you, was he NPFL or was he RUF?

  • At this time he was RUF because he was with the leader of the RUF, that is, Foday Sankoh.

  • Sir, if we could look at what you said on 25 March, page 37966.

  • My transcript of 25 March starts with page 37968.

  • It should be 25 March, 37986. Is that what I said?

  • Sorry. I apologise:

  • Sir, on 25 March last week at line 12 you had been talking about meeting John Kargbo and you were asked by Defence counsel:

    "Q. So at the time you were having this conversation with

    John Kargbo, he was an NPFL fighter?

    A. Kargbo was an NPFL."

    Actually we should go up a little bit. I think you said it a little before if we go up. Looking at line 9, you said:

    "A. I saw John Kargbo. He came as a fighter.

    Q. A fighter for which group? Can you tell us, please?

    A. For the NPFL."

    So, Mr Witness, this seems to be the opposite of what you just said when you just told us he was RUF at the time you talked to him. I suggest, Mr Witness, you were not lying when you made this contradiction. It wasn't a lie, was it?

  • Madam President, with respect, if you look at the transcript, my LiveNote page 86 through 87, if it is being suggested that the witness here today has denied that John Kargbo was NPFL, the witness answered at my line 24 of page 86:

    "John Kargbo, yes, he was NPFL, an NPFL soldier, but later he joined the RUF as a Sierra Leonean because the revolution was going to his home."

    So is the alleged contradiction that he has testified today that John Kargbo was not NPFL, when indeed he has said Kargbo was NPFL and it's the same as he said last week on the 24th that Kargbo was NPFL?

  • Mr Koumjian, there is a question you asked of the witness at the time that he was recruited by John Kargbo whether John Kargbo was at the time an NPFL fighter and the witness said no, at that time Kargbo was an RUF. Now, as I understand it, that is the area that you are now cross-examining the witness about.

  • Yes.

  • And so the question is pertinent, Mr Anyah, really. I don't see what the objection is. The question that Mr Koumjian is asking is pertinent. I myself appear to see a contradiction in the evidence. So please continue, Mr Koumjian.

  • Mr Witness, what I am suggesting to you is that you are not lying when you made this contradiction. It's just the case is that the RUF and the NPFL are just two sides of the same coin and a person can be RUF one moment and NPFL the next. That's the truth, isn't it?

  • Well, what I am telling you - excuse me, what I am saying here is that I was at a particular checkpoint or gate. I saw a man coming to me with arm. As a civilian, what would I think? I would take this man to be of that particular group that that was in control of that area. Not until he took me to Corporal Sankoh, it was then that I knew that he was RUF. So you asked whether he was NPFL fighter. That was why I gave that answer yes. Until he took me to Corporal Sankoh. So that's not a lie.

  • It's not a lie because a person can turn from NPFL to RUF at any moment, isn't that true, just like you say John Kargbo did?

  • No, not exactly. Excuse me, I was a single-barrel man. I was a civilian, because being a single-barrel man, I was not trained. I was not used to the people's military ethic at that time. He came to me. We were in this group. I saw them with arms. How would I take it at that time?

  • Mr Witness, you had joined the NPFL at the NP office. You had signed up there, correct?

  • Yes, but it was not the NPFL that trained me.

  • Just answer my questions. You joined the NPFL at the military police office in Bong Mines. Is that right?

  • Did you ever resign from the NPFL?

  • Resign from the NPFL? Well, what you mean by "resign"? It's like - it's something to which we made a document, and I will go there and say from today's date I am resigning.

  • Your Honours, can he kindly repeat his answer slowly.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter can never keep up at that speed.

  • I am sorry.

  • Repeat that explanation. You said - just repeat your answer. Just repeat your entire answer. We didn't get it.

  • Yes. Let him also repeat his question.

  • Mr Witness, you had signed up to join an armed force, the NPFL, and you had been given an arm, a gun, by that force and an assignment at a checkpoint. Correct?

  • Yes.

  • And then, sir, you want to tell us that you just walked away from that group and joined another armed group. That's how it happened? You just walked away and joined the RUF?

  • That's just what I did. That's just what I did.

  • What would you do when the RUF - if fighters who had joined the RUF simply said, "I am going to join the Kamajors now"? Were they allowed to walk over to the Kamajor line?

  • Well, what you are saying, it is an option. If one decides to say that he is of this group, these were armed groups. I am with this group and you are going into the other group. Would you tell this other group that you were going to the other group? They would charge you. They would charge you. So you just find your way and go. And when you are going, you go with whatsoever they had given you if you were able. If you were unable, then you leave it and go.

  • What did you do with your gun?

  • My single barrel? I left it there because it was not mine.

  • Now, sir, when you were - when - Kargbo came back and picked you up, is that correct, after the first conversation?

  • When he told me - when he told me about this particular RUF meeting, but he do not call the name to me, but he told me how he and I had worked together and how he knew me very well and that this was what he had come with, I simply left the other people on the post and I followed him and we went and met his leader. Because he had told me that his leader was in Bong Mines, and I went there and the leader confirmed what John Kargbo has told to me - has told me, and I was convinced.

  • What did the others at the checkpoint do when you said you were leaving and going with this man to join another armed group?

  • Well, they did not do anything because I was not a trained man.

  • So you were treated much better saying you were going to work for the RUF than if you had simply been a Krahn or Mandingo civilian, is that right? Because you told us Krahn and Mandingo civilians were detained or killed, correct?

  • Well, please repeat that question. I did not get it clear.

  • Sir, you were allowed to walk away from the checkpoint. Is that right?

  • Walking away, if you said allowed, that means I went and told them and I went. But it was simply something that I did on my own, and they themselves who were at the checkpoint were not briefed. I did not tell them. I continue to say this.

  • Sir, when you spoke to John Kargbo, what did he say that convinced you to leave your country to join a force fighting a war in another country?

  • Well, what John Kargbo told me was that when we go I will be considered as a Special Force, just as how the other Special Forces who were living in Liberia, and I saw that the Special Forces in Liberia were people who commanded respect and their subordinates respected them and, you know, they did not have any problem. And he said if we go, after the war I was going to work in their government, and that in itself convinced me and that was how I found my way into the RUF.

  • Special Forces or top commanders in the NPFL lived well; you saw that, correct?

  • Oh, I saw them, and they were issued cars and other things. And I sometimes saw other forces who were not Special Forces; some would have to walk for long distances. But if you were a Special Forces member, you will be issued a car and you would go to your places that you wanted to go to. And he told me I would be given the same status when I go to Sierra Leone.

  • So it's for that status that you went to fight in another country. Is that right?

  • Well, yes, I can say. Because this is the life that we are living, and one has to take risk to be equal to the status of other people. If you want to live in a class that you are not up to, then you have to take risk. And the risk was for me to go through all those things until I see myself to the class where the other people were. If I succeeded, okay; if I did not succeed, then no problem. Because there were two optional things: I either succeed or I die.

  • Sir, when you came back to Liberia in 2000, were you ever arrested for being a mercenary in Sierra Leone?

  • Did I tell you I came back to Liberia in 2000? I told you that I came back to Liberia in 2001. I was not arrested. I was not arrested. When I got back to Liberia, I was not arrested.

  • In fact, you were welcomed into the Armed Forces of Liberia, correct?

  • Were you ever arrested as a dissident under the Mano River Union Agreement for countries in the Mano River Union to arrest dissidents of other countries found in their territory?

  • No, I was not arrested. I told you.

  • Did you hide the fact that you were RUF when you came back - that you had been RUF?

  • No, I was not RUF at that time because I narrowly escaped.

  • Sir, my question is did you hide the fact - when you came back to Liberia, did you hide the fact that you had been fighting in Sierra Leone for all those years?

  • When you came back to Liberia - let me be specific. When you talked to Benjamin Yeaten, he knew you had been RUF, correct?

  • Yes, I explained that. I explained that.

  • You did not hide the fact that you had been with the RUF from 2001 - excuse me, from 1991, at least, or 1990 at Naama, all the way up to when you came back to Liberia?

  • I did not hide it.

  • Sir, did you ever hear Sierra Leone called Kuwait back in the early 90s before you went into that country?

  • Sorry, maybe that was my fault for speaking too quickly. Let me slow down. Sir, did you ever hear the NPFL fighters refer to Sierra Leone as Kuwait?

  • Did you hear NPFL fighters talking about looting Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, in my statement I said that the group that entered in Koindu, they looted - some of them looted and they came back, and others followed and they went ahead.

  • Okay, we're getting a little ahead. Let's go back in time for a moment. We were just discussing why you decided to join the RUF. So when you decided - you agreed with Kargbo to join his group, what happened then?

  • Yes. When I joined, he took me to Mr Sankoh. And then Mr Sankoh confirmed to me what I had been told by John Kargbo, and from there we were taken to Firestone. Because I was not the only person, because I met nine others there, so all put together, we were ten. We were taken to Firestone, where we spent the night. That was on September 8, and on September 9 we were taken for the training. But before that, before leaving Firestone, we met a Sierra Leonean who was also working for the Firestone company, an old man called Pa Kallon. He was the adviser to Mr Sankoh at the time.

  • Sir, when you first met Foday Sankoh, where was he when you first met him?

  • At the time he was in Bong Mines where John Kargbo took me to.

  • And where exactly in Bong Mines was it that you met Foday Sankoh?

  • It was in Varney Town.

  • Is that in the centre of the Bong Mines area?

  • Yes, yes. Varney Town is the centre part of Bong Mine.

  • After you spoke to Sankoh - when you spoke to Sankoh, was he alone or with others?

  • It was Mr Sankoh, John Kargbo and the nine others that I met with him.

  • So the nine other recruits were already with Sankoh when you met Sankoh. Is that correct?

  • Yes. They had already been recruited. They were there with him before I got there.

  • And did Sankoh have any security?

  • He had no security with him at the time, but he had a boy who was also recruited.

  • Your Honours, could the name of that person be repeated.

  • Mr Witness, repeat the name of that person you just named.

  • Oh, Roland Bockarie.

  • I think we missed some of your answer, but tell me if I am correct, Mr Witness. Are you saying that you didn't see Sankoh with security, but he had a boy with him who was very close to him, Roland Bockarie, and you believed he was a security because he was so close to him?

  • How old was Roland Bockarie?

  • Roland at that time could have been around the age of 20. Between 18, 19, 20, around that age because of his height that I saw.

  • What happened after you - when you spoke to Sankoh, what did he tell you?

  • I told you Pa Sankoh only confirmed what John Kargbo told us - I mean told me. When we were all with him, he briefed us on how he wanted us to launch his revolution and that we were going to be like the Special Forces. We will go and train the other men to fight the war and after the war we will all work together. Those were some of the few words he said to us.

  • So Sankoh said the same thing to all ten of you. Is that correct?

  • What name was Sankoh using at that time?

  • At that time he was called Pa Morlai or Godfather. Morlai.

  • When it was that you learned his real name?

  • It was in 1991, March 22, when he came to address us that we were to go and launch the revolution.

  • Now, sir, you also were given a code name or false name to use for Camp Naama and that was to call it Camp Sokoto. Is that correct?

  • Excuse me. Camp Naama was not called Camp Sokoto. It was Crab Hole that was called Camp Sokoto.

  • Crab Hole is the area at Naama where the RUF trained, correct?

  • And that was called by the name of a Nigerian military base. Is that right?

  • This was, when you got to Naama, September 1990. Is that right?

  • In September 1990, ECOMOG had just landed in Liberia. Is that correct?

  • And by the way, Foday Sankoh, Mr Witness, is it correct that he had been imprisoned earlier for his opposition to the Sierra Leone government? He had served time in Sierra Leone much earlier, isn't that true?

  • Well, he explained to us that in fact he was a former military officer in Sierra Leone and that he had been imprisoned before. According to his explanation, he said it was in that prison in Sierra Leone that he planned his revolution. But that was not part of my statement. It was just something that he briefed us on.

  • Sir, when Foday Sankoh --

  • Because you have asked about it, I can say it.

  • Yes. You can say anything. It doesn't have to be in your statement, Mr Witness. I just want the truth, okay? Do you know?

  • Now, Foday Sankoh also after he was released from prison had been doing political activities with other people that were against the APC government, correct? Did you know that?

  • Well, according to Mr Sankoh, when he was arrested as a military officer and jailed, and after his release, he became a photographer. He was a photographer. That he explained to me. But he did not tell me that he was against or doing other things. But he told me that he was in jail and that was the time he arranged about undertaking this revolution.

  • Did Foday Sankoh or Pa Morlai at the time tell you that he had trained in Libya?

  • Yes, he said that to me, or to us, not just me, because we were many at the training base by then.

  • So, Mr Witness, do you know why it was that Foday Sankoh was not using his real name and the RUF training camp was - you were using a code name that was the name of a Nigerian military base? Do you know who it was that Foday Sankoh was trying to fool with these names?

  • Well, actually, I cannot really say that he wanted to fool people around, but I believe that he did not actually want to show himself out to us until we got in well. And that was what he did. Even the day he called his name, Foday Sankoh, we were all shocked and we felt that he was trying to deceive us.

  • Well, Mr Witness, it would make sense, doesn't it, to you, that Foday Sankoh, being supported by Charles Taylor in NPFL territory, that Charles Taylor would want to hide his support for the Sierra Leone dissident from the Government of Sierra Leone for as long as possible. That's why Foday Sankoh didn't use his name and that's why the Crab Hole was called Camp Sokoto. Isn't that true?

  • I did not have such an idea.

  • Mr Witness, you said Foday Sankoh told you his name on March 21st. Is that correct?

  • No, not 21st. I said March 22nd.

  • Sir, before the invasion of Sierra Leone, did you hear Foday Sankoh on the radio on March 1, 1990, threatening the Momoh government, giving them a demand, a 90-day ultimatum?

  • Well, we were recruits. We did not have access to radio at that time.

  • So you never heard Foday Sankoh on the radio giving the 90-day ultimatum to the Momoh government?

  • Did anyone tell you about it?

  • He did not tell us, nor did anybody inform us. We were only surprised that he came and told us that we were to start because I had of course explained that something happened that was not expected because the NPFL had attacked. When they went to look for food and they were chased by the SLA and the NPFL too later chased them. So we were compelled to go. But previously he had told us that he wanted his revolution to be launched in the dry season of that same year. And at that time the dry season started from October, and we were just in March.

  • Yes. You have explained that the RUF was compelled to enter Sierra Leone in March because the NPFL had already entered. Correct?

  • We will come back to that. But, Mr Witness, after you met Sankoh in Bong Mines, where did you go then?

  • He travelled with us all the way to Firestone. From Firestone, he travelled with us and he and John Kargbo took us straight to that Crab Hole.

  • Your Honours, I have a map of Liberia. I would like it to be displayed and have the witness mark his route for us. This is L1 in the map, but this is a clean copy. We have some extra copies.

  • Please be specific exactly what you want the witness to do.

  • Mr Witness, can you go over to the map and first mark where Bong Mines is? Point to it first.

  • Madam President, I would be grateful to receive one of the copies of the map, if possible. Thank you.

  • Mr Witness, I don't know how good you are with maps, but do you see the number 3 in the middle of the map?

  • Yes, I am seeing it. Although I am not a map reader, but I am seeing it.

  • And just above that is Gbatala in Bong County and then you see the road going down to Totota and Salala going towards Kakata. Now, can you point on that map to where Bong Mines would be? Is it, sir, near Sanoyea?

  • Bong Mines, if you take the Bong Mines road it's right in Kakata. No, not close to Sanoyea. Right in Kakata, that is where you take the Bong Mines road from. So Bong Mines is not indicated on this map. That is why I will not be - I am unable to give you the right location of Bong Mines on this map. It is not indicated on this map.

  • Sir, is Bong Mines in Bong County?

  • Yes, Bong Mines is in Bong County. I have told you that.

  • Is Bong Town the same as Bong Mines?

  • Bong Town is the same Bong Mines, and that was one of the camps that was built for the white people who were working for the company. That was Bong Town.

  • When you go from Bong Mines to Kakata, do you pass through Salafa [phon]?

  • I don't know that particular town, but I know that there is no other major town from Bong Mines going towards Kakata. All the areas there are villages, except where you have Sherman Farm which is a rubber plantation.

  • If the witness could be shown P-26 I think it might be easier for him. Or excuse me - actually, I have a clean copy of P-26. So if the Court Officer could use my clean copy it would be easier:

  • Now, Mr Witness, do you see Bong County in that map?

  • Yes, I can see Bong County.

  • Can you see to the left, the left-hand section of Bong County, it's marked Bong Town?

  • Yes, I can see Bong Town.

  • So, sir, how did you travel from Bong to Kakata? Is there a road that you took?

  • Yes, it is a car road. That is the main motor road that leads from there to Bong Mines, that's the route we used.

  • Do you pass through Vayenma?

  • Vayenma? I don't know that town. I don't know that town.

  • Okay. Sir, I think I can help you if we go back to the other map. Do you see, sir --

  • Is this the same map?

  • It's the same map. But do you see, sir, the yellow with the number 1, which is Montserrado County? And just at the very top of that there is a town, a circle, that appears to be in Bong, but underneath it is written - it's written in the yellow space, Bong Mine, do you see that?

  • What are you saying? In the yellow here?

  • Okay, yes, yes, yes, I have seen it now.

  • Do you see there is a road that goes from Bong Mine down to Kakata?

  • Is that the road you took?

  • Yes.

  • And then you said you went to Firestone. Where is Firestone?

  • Firestone is in Margibi County.

  • Okay. Could you mark in a black pen, if you have it, how you went from Bong Mines to Firestone, putting approximately where Firestone is?

  • Firestone? I can't see Firestone on the map. I don't know. I have eye problem, so I am not --

  • Sir, is Firestone near Harbel?

  • Yes. Around the Roberts International Airport.

  • Do you see where that is marked on the map? There is a little plane.

  • Yes, I see that here, the aeroplane here.

  • Okay. So did you have to pass through Harbel to get to Firestone?

  • Okay. Can you take a pen then and mark from Bong Mines through Kakata through Harbel the route that you took?

  • From Bong Mines - are you saying I should mark on the paper?

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • Should I mark on the paper?

  • [Microphone not activated].

  • Okay. We moved like this to Kakata.

  • [Microphone not activated] so we can see it. Okay. Thank you.

  • Then you went to - passed through Harbel, you said, correct?

  • Yes, we passed through Harbel and then we took - we did not use this main road. There is a road coming like this to come to Harbel. This is what we used.

  • And did you go through Harbel to Firestone?

  • I think Harbel is Firestone.

  • [Microphone not activated] Harbel marked right by the airport, right by the plane, above the plane?

  • [Microphone not activated] mark the route you took to Harbel?

  • We came this way like this.

  • Did you actually go through Harbel?

  • Yes, we passed through Harbel.

  • Can you mark that? Because you see Harbel is right where you stopped, we see the word "Harbel" marked.

  • Yes. I am now looking for Firestone. I told you I have eye problem, so I can't see it clearly.

  • It's not marked on the map. Can you tell us then how you went from Firestone to Camp Naama?

  • Yes. We left Firestone and we came back to Kakata before taking the road.

  • Okay. So would you go back on the same route that you have already marked?

  • Yes. We came back and got to Kakata and we used the main road.

  • And then can you mark how you went to Naama. Do you see Gbarnga marked on the map in the centre?

  • I am looking for Gbarnga. Yes, I have seen Gbarnga.

  • [Microphone not activated] did you go through Gbarnga?

  • Yes, we passed through Gbarnga.

  • [Microphone not activated] mark that, please.

  • We came like this.

  • I am coming. Then we came to Belefanai, but only that I can't see Camp Naama here now. I can't see Camp Naama on the map.

  • About how far is Camp Naama from Belefanai?

  • Naama from Belefanai? It could be up to about 8 - 7 to 8 miles, I want to believe. I am not being too exact, but I think it should be around that, 7 or 8, the mileage, I mean.

  • And is it on the road - you continue on the road that you were on to get from Gbarnga to Belefanai, or is it off the road, Camp Naama?

  • You get off the road to go to Camp Naama. It's a small route going to Naama. You leave the main road.

  • Okay, sir. On this route that you have marked, how many checkpoints did you pass through?

  • Mr Koumjian, I think we are up to our time. We will have to take this after the luncheon break. We will reconvene at 2.30.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.35 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.33 p.m.]