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

  • Good morning, Mr Witness.

  • Good morning, sir.

  • We will continue with your evidence-in-chief this morning. Before we pick up from where we left off yesterday I just need for us to go through a few areas that we had actually gone through already. In your testimony yesterday, about the meeting that Superman had in Buedu with Mosquito, you gave a description of the location of Mosquito's house in Buedu and I believe we have it not in the manner in which it was actually given. Could you just go over that again. Where was Mosquito's house located in Buedu?

  • Mosquito, Sam Bockarie --

  • Your Honours, can the witness speak up a little.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter is having a problem hearing you. Could you sit a little closer to the microphone and perhaps speak a little louder. If you can start again, please.

  • Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, was based in Buedu. He was in Buedu. His house was at Dawah Road. That road leads straight to Liberia and his house was the last house closer to the bush.

  • Also yesterday in your testimony, Mr Witness, when discussing instructions which Sam Bockarie had had about the plan which was discussed at Buedu, you did mention that he had got instructions from Taylor. Now, can you be very clear about this: Did he get instructions regarding the plan which was discussed at Buedu?

  • Please repeat.

  • Did Sam Bockarie get instructions from anyone about the plan that was discussed in Buedu, the plan which he discussed with Superman in Buedu?

  • Yes, what he told us, he said he had instructions from Taylor. Both of them discussed before he left Liberia, before he left Liberia for Buedu.

  • Your Honours, the witness is too fast.

  • Mr Witness, I am sorry I have to interrupt you again. Can you speak a little slower to allow the interpreter to interpret as you talk. Maybe we will repeat the answer.

  • Mr Witness, do you need the question to be asked again, or are you - the question was: Did Sam Bockarie receive any instructions from anyone about the plan which he discussed with Superman in Buedu?

  • Yes, he had an order from somebody and that person is Mr Taylor.

  • How did you know this?

  • He himself explained to us during the meeting at Buedu.

  • What exactly did he say?

  • He said this time round when he went to Taylor, Taylor called him and gave him instructions how he should begin to run operations in Sierra Leone. He told him everywhere - he told him the places where to attack and so when he returned he called all the prominent commanders and explained to them so that they could take action with regard to the instructions. That is what he told us. That was one of the agenda items during the meeting which was discussed in Buedu.

  • Now, regarding the movement of Superman from Superman Ground to Koinadugu, you did say yesterday that when Superman arrived in Koinadugu he prepared an open message. The question was did you know what or how he was received in Buedu - in Koinadugu when he arrived there and your answer was he opened up - he prepared an open message. What do you mean when you said he prepared an open message?

  • What I mean when I talk about open message from Superman to all RUF stations, that was the way how SAJ Musa received it. He received him very well and welcomed him and all the fighters welcomed Superman and the manpower he took to them, so that message was open to all combatants to hear from Superman.

  • Now, also yesterday we discussed the Fitti Fatta mission and you did say that your side took many casualties from that mission and some of the casualties were sent to Liberia for medical care, is that correct?

  • Where in Liberia were they taken to?

  • It was in Monrovia.

  • Do you know who facilitated this arrangement?

  • It was Sam Bockarie and Mr Taylor.

  • How did you know this?

  • Like, for example, when those people were wounded his response to Superman was he had made arrangements with Mr Taylor: Whenever we had serious wounded fighters let them be taken to Buedu, so that he will send helicopters to take them from Foya.

  • In your experience was this the first time that fighters of the RUF, or wounded fighters of the RUF, had been evacuated to Liberia for medical care?

  • No, any time we had serious wounded fighters they would take them to Liberia for treatment. Those who had problems would be taken to Monrovia, Liberia. The helicopter would take them to Monrovia.

  • Your Honours, can the counsel wait for the interpretation.

  • Mr Bangura, did you hear the interpreter? He asked if you would wait until the interpretation is finished before proceeding.

  • Sorry, your Honour. I am not on the interpreter's channel this morning. I am sorry about that.

  • I am not through.

  • Please finish your answer, Mr Witness.

  • I will give you one example: It was a senior man, Dennis Mingo, he had a serious accident during the time the RUF attacked UN in Makeni. He was taken to Taylor. Taylor requested for him. He said he should be taken to Liberia. He himself was taken for a helicopter, by a helicopter. He was taken to Liberia for treatment.

  • It was in 2000, year 2000, during the time RUF attacked UN in Makeni.

  • Thank you. Now, yesterday also we discussed a situation that occurred in Tombodu where Savage was a commander. Do you recall?

  • Yes.

  • Your testimony was that Savage had been killing civilians who were in his care in Tombodu, is that right?

  • And that reports - this practice had been going on for over a week and there were reports to the effect, is that right?

  • Now, these reports that you talk about, were they widely circulated?

  • Yes, all the fighters, from the commander right down to the civilians who were under him, who were under the RUF control in Kono District, everybody knew that Savage's area had become fearful because the civilians who were in his care, he had started killing them over a week.

  • Now, how long after these reports came out was any action taken to stop the killings?

  • It was during the second week. It was the second week when an action was taken to remove Savage.

  • Now, apart from being removed, do you know whether any disciplinary action was taken against Savage?

  • No, I did not see any disciplinary action taken against him because he was sick, he was mad. He was not normal again, so he was taken to be treated.

  • Thank you. Let us move on from where we left off yesterday and you were discussing your move from Superman Ground to Koinadugu, is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • You had orders to move and who did the orders come from?

  • This order came from Sam Bockarie, Mosquito, and came to Morris Kallon and Kallon gave us the order, together with Alfred Brown, and we moved from Superman Ground.

  • You did say you moved in the company of certain other people, apart from yourself and Brown, Alfred Brown, who were they?

  • Myself, Alfred brown, Alfred Brown's security and his wife, and the people to whom we were going, Gullit, Five Five, Five Five's wife was amongst us, Gullit's wife was amongst us.

  • Now, you said the people to whom you were going, which people were you going to?

  • We were going to Gullit, Rosos, but before we left for Rosos we were to go to Koinadugu.

  • Why did you have to go to Rosos?

  • Why we had to go to Rosos, it was because of that plan which we went for a meeting in Buedu. That was why we went to Rosos and as I am speaking we did not just go there directly. We left Superman Ground, passed through Bai Bureh and went to Koinadugu.

  • Now, you yourself were a radio operator. What was Alfred Brown? Was he a combatant, or a radio operator?

  • Alfred Brown was another senior man who was second to Nya and we always called him radio commander.

  • So was he a combatant, or a radio man?

  • He was a radio operator.

  • Now, can you tell this Court why the two of you radio operators were sent, or were ordered to go and join the forces at Rosos?

  • Yes, the reason is the plan that we had discussed about in the meeting at Buedu concerned a very serious operation and Rosos hadn't enough radio operators and even the radio machine and therefore Mosquito decided to send instruction to Morris Kallon to dispatch radio operators for them to go and establish effective communication at Rosos. That was the reason why Alfred Brown and I were appointed to join SAJ Musa and Superman at Koinadugu, so that he would prepare us with equipment to join Gullit at Rosos, Colonel Eddie Ground.

  • Now, you said that you had to go through Koinadugu to be prepared. What sort of preparation was to be made for your move to Rosos?

  • The preparation which they were to do for us to go to Rosos, they were to provide us arms and ammunition which Superman had taken to that place and they were also to contribute many fighters and a commander who was to lead us to Colonel Eddie Ground.

  • How long were you at Koinadugu?

  • I spent some time at Koinadugu, but it didn't take me up to one week. From there we were prepared to go.

  • Now, can you describe the composition of the group that was put together in Koinadugu for Rosos?

  • Yes, we were in groups. We had RUF in that group, there was STF in that group, then we had AFRC in that group, but in each of those groups there were units. For example, RUF had their communication unit in that group and as we got to Koinadugu SAJ Musa also provided two radio operators. Then we were then four in number. We were all there in the communication unit. We had a medical unit. We also had groups who were taking care of arms and ammunition and we also had our fighters. Among the fighters we had groups of Cobra Unit, a small group comprising Superman, Superman's bodyguards, and also we had the other units in the RUF. They were much more than the other groups. That was referred to as the Red Lion. Komba Gbundema's bodyguards were comprising this unit. We also had the STF, that was ULIMO from Liberia, but at that time they were being called STF. All these groups were headed by commanders, but the overall commander in that group was O5, the group which was to come from Koinadugu to Rosos.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness, just before we delve deeper into the composition of the group, can you - you said you were in Koinadugu for less than a week. During the period you were there --

  • Excuse me, there was a name the witness mentioned quickly. Komba Gbundema, or something like that.

  • Komba is K-O-M-B-A and Gbundema is G-B-U-N-D-E-M-A and I see Cobra is spelt differently here. It is C-O-B-R-A. Thank you, your Honour:

  • You said you were not up to a week in Koinadugu. During the period you were there what were your observations regarding cooperation between Superman and SAJ Musa?

  • What I observed between SAJ Musa and Superman, they were working cordially when I was there. They had no problem. I had never observed any problem between the two because I went to their training base, also I saw the RUF personnel. They were training the captured civilians and I also saw AFRC and STF training those civilians, and, again, they did not tell me about any problems. I saw them going on missions and they were coming, they were meeting together, discussing, no problems. That was what I observed in Koinadugu.

  • Also, Mr Witness, can you tell this Court what was the state of communication between the base in Koinadugu and Buedu, as well as Rosos? What was generally the state of communication amongst the commanders at all of these locations during the period you were at Koinadugu?

  • Let me start from Rosos. Rosos communication did not - was not effective, but when I was in Koinadugu, when I got there, while SAJ Musa was there, Superman and other senior officers, together with Superman Ground where I came from, that is Kono, Morris Kallon's base, and also Buedu, Mosquito, Sam Bockarie, there was communication between them day and night. It was cordial. There was no problem.

  • You have described the various groups that were put together, or units that were put together to form the group that was to leave Koinadugu for Rosos. Can you give us numbers? What was the contribution, in terms of numbers, of each of these units to the group as far as you are able to remember?

  • What I can recall, the official list which we had for the AFRC was 250 manpower. Then the official list for the RUF was one platoon, which was 60 manpower. STF, I can't recall theirs, but while they were called - as we were going some others were joining us, so the numbers was increasing.

  • When you say the RUF was one platoon and you say it was about 60 men, did that include the unit which you referred to earlier, the Red Lion battalion?

  • The combatants, the Red Lion battalion, that is what I mentioned. Cobra Unit, it went up to that number, the fighters.

  • And who do you say - or who was the leader of the entire group that left Koinadugu?

  • It was O5 who was AFRC commander.

  • Can we just go over again who the Red Lion battalion were and who the Cobra Unit were?

  • The Red Lion battalion comprised Komba Gbundema's bodyguards. They formed the Red Lion battalion. The Cobra Unit was Superman's bodyguards. They comprised that unit.

  • Together these two units formed the RUF contingent, is that right?

  • Yes.

  • And apart from these there was an STF unit as well, is that correct?

  • Yes, we had STF among us.

  • And this O5 who you have mentioned that was appointed the leader, which unit did he belong to?

  • O5 was from the SLA, the AFRC, but they didn't come up with any name.

  • You mentioned that two other radio operators were appointed to join the two of you that came from Superman Ground. Who were those two?

  • We had one SLA who was called Elugema. That is the only name I knew. He was called Elugema and we had Sheku Koroma. They joined us from Koinadugu.

  • Your Honours, Elugema E-L-U-G-E-M-A and Sheku Koroma is S-H-E-K-U for Sheku and Koroma is K-O-R-O-M-A:

  • Do you remember on what date you left Koinadugu for Rosos?

  • It was on the first day of September 1998.

  • And how long did your journey last to Rosos?

  • The patrol lasted for 21 days.

  • How are you able to remember these dates, especially 1 September that you left Koinadugu?

  • During that time when we were taking that long patrol I had a diary where I wrote my movements and in that particular month I had a serious wound, so all that happened in that month I cannot forget it because in that month, on the 28th, I had a serious problem that was a wound on my hand, so everything that happened during that month I can recall because I used to read over. I cannot forget it.

  • You said you had an injury in that month on the 28th, that would have been after your arrival at Rosos, is that correct?

  • Now, can you describe the route that you took from Koinadugu to Rosos, the main towns that you went through?

  • In the first place we went through many villages and towns, but I can recall few for now because we were not just moving directly. We were moving in a zigzag manner. If we noticed enemies we would attack them from one flank as they want to focus on us and we move to the other direction. We would cause some problem there and when they want to focus and go ahead, that was how we moved. That is why we even spent 21 days. But the towns that I can recall which were big towns, I can recall three or four.

  • Just before you mention the names of the towns, you said that you took a zigzag pattern of movement so as to avoid your enemies. Who were the enemy at this time in that area?

  • The government troops were there, including the Civil Defence Force. They occupied some of those villages.

  • Could you name the villages, the main towns or villages that you went through?

  • We passed through Karina. Karina is another big town in that area and we came across Gbendembu, Gbendembu, and we also came to the other village called Mateboi. There were some other big towns which names I cannot recall now.

  • Your Honours, Karina is K-A-R-I-N-A. Gbendembu is G-B-E-N-D-E-M-B-U and Mateboi is M-A-T-E-B-O-I:

  • Can you describe what happened on the way as you you went through some of these big towns and villages, or towns and villages?

  • Yes. Before we left, during the meeting for us to be dispatched, the order they gave to O5, Superman and SAJ Musa, they said the guerillas should destroy and after the war you can make. That was the order they had from the headquarters. Therefore, whosoever see us, if that person saw us to either go with him or her, or kill him or her. We should use - they used the word fearful. We should make the area fearful. Those whose hands were supposed to cut off, we should amputate. Those who we were to kill, we should kill them and we were to burn all villages which we passed through. As we would move, we started killing. Anybody we would see who could not carry loads for us, we would kill that person and if somebody carried ammunition and he got tired, commander would just pass an order saying kill the person and we would kill the person. Any village we entered we put that village on fire. Almost all the villages through which we passed we set on fire and burnt down, and we got to one area, they had one priest that he was called Father Mario. When SAJ Musa was going, he captured him. Where Father Mario was, around that area, I can't recall the name of the village now, we met - he had assembled civilians. He was giving them food, but he himself, Father Mario, was not there. When we captured civilians we asked them why they were gathered there. They said Father Mario was taking care of them. So those civilians, what they did to them they just selected few from them then O5 passed an order and they were all executed. I saw one fellow who was SLA, his name was Kabila. Among this group there were pregnant women. He split open that woman's stomach, the foetus was cut into pieces and removed. That was how we were going: Abducting, those who hadn't wives they were capturing young girls, marrying them forcefully. That was how we were going: Capturing people to carry our ammunition. That is how we travelled.

  • Your Honours, Kabila is K-A-B-I-L-A:

  • Now, you mentioned --

  • Mr Bangura, the witness started by saying the orders were given to somebody or other. I am not quite sure who was giving these orders from what is recorded.

  • I will get him to go over, but I believe he said - I will get him to go over:

  • Mr Witness, you said that before you left Koinadugu you were addressed by some - you were addressed and then orders were given to your leader, O5, is that correct?

  • Who addressed you before you left Koinadugu?

  • It was Superman and SAJ Musa. They said this order was from Sam Bockarie headquarters in Buedu, so O5 should go with that order.

  • Earlier you said something about the order stated that you should destroy and make. Can you clarify yourself there, destroy and make?

  • Yes, they said that was the work of a guerilla. After the war they will rebuild, but for now let us destroy, so they were going and burning villages and they said after the war they will rebuild the villages, because if we left the villages, if the government troops or ECOMOG came they will settle there.

  • Now, you have described a particular incident in a village whose name you do not recall, but you earlier mentioned big towns, like Karina and Gbendembu and Mateboi, were your treatment to those towns or villages much different from what you had - what had happened in the town which you said you could not recall the name of?

  • Yes, for Gbendembu I remember what happened there and some other places. Gbendembu, Mateboi I can recall what happened there.

  • What exactly happened in those towns that you have mentioned?

  • Gbendembu, after we got there and we attacked, burnt the town, we had to bring some civilians together. I saw two combatants and they started creating confusion for women and for manpower and O5, the commander, saw that and he asked, he said, "Why are you quarrelling?" They said, "It is for that woman." This one says he is going to have her and the other one said no, he is going to have her. He said, "Stop quarrelling for a woman. You call the woman, let the woman herself come." In Gbendembu there is a court barri that is very close to the main road. In the presence of other civilians and fighters O5 shot the civilian and she died and we left. That was then a law in that patrol: Whosoever quarrelled over a civilian, that civilian will be killed and all the other civilians whom we met the Gbendembu who could not carry loads, we killed all of them and we moved.

    When we got to Mateboi, Mateboi was the last place getting to the Rosos zone. When we attacked that place too and we brought together the civilians we met there and O5 called all the fighters and asked, "Who wants to take a civilian along, or a woman, or Small Boys Unit, or Small Girls Unit for domestic chores?" Some fighters came and selected among the - some selected women and some selected children. Some others who were there over 50, nobody chose them. They were all killed. That was what happened in those two villages that I can recall.

  • Who killed these people that were not selected?

  • O-Five passed order to the fighters. It was not one person who did the act. They did not use guns to kill them. They killed them using machetes and sticks, slitting their throats.

  • Did anything happen at Karina?

  • At Karina we went there also. We attacked, killed and burnt there. We met the father - we missed the father. He had run away. We took a solar plate from where he was living and then also we saw a bus that was there. They said it was a government bus. It came there with civilians. All of those civilians, none of them went out of the bus. We killed them all and then we looted the place and then we moved.

  • Now, what was the state of communication during the journey between Koinadugu and Rosos, do you recall?

  • Yes, any site we undertook operations we told Koinadugu that we are going along making the area fearful. We can't say directly that we are going along killing. The order was that we should make the area fearful and when we say making the area fearful, that means killing and burning. So we told them how we moved along and also we would inform Rosos that we are on our way coming. Communications went on, every five and six hours we will communicate with them.

  • You specifically mentioned Rosos, but who would you also communicate with, or who did you also communicate with? You were not very specific in the first part of your answer.

  • By then Gullit was there as high command. He was the one we communicated with at Rosos.

  • What about in other locations that you communicated with?

  • We were communicating with SAJ Musa and Superman in Koinadugu and we also informed Mosquito that we are moving along and there is no problem, and also Kono. These areas I am talking about were the main areas we coordinated with: Rosos, Koinadugu, Superman Ground in Kono and then Kailahun District, Buedu.

  • You said that you would not say what exactly you were doing on the way, but what would you report when you communicated with these locations?

  • We were reporting about our movement and our positions.

  • Now, apart from you communicating with your bases at Rosos, Koinadugu and in Buedu, did you get any information on the way, as you travelled between these two locations, about your own activities? Did you get any information from outside?

  • As you travelled along between these two locations, that is Koinadugu to Rosos, did you get any information about what was going on, or were your activities monitored by anybody?

  • Yes, in fact anywhere we entered civilians must escape and then go on the side of the enemy and then go to maybe one of the big towns like Makeni and everywhere we operated we would kill, burn and then it will be sent over air. The BBC will report about that and then even our national radios will report about that.

  • Did you yourself listen to any of the radio reports about your activities as you travelled on?

  • Yes, I had a commercial radio to which I listened the news and even the radio I used, I always changed over to commercial stations and then it went through.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, may the witness be shown one of two maps that we provided with the Court, they are not listed in the order of proposed exhibits, the one with ERN number last four digits 0182.

  • Do you see the map which has been shown to you, Mr Witness?

  • Yes.

  • At the top there what does it say?

  • "AFRC/RUF primary radio locations mid-1998, as indicated by TF1-360."

  • Did you, during your prepping with lawyers for the Prosecution, indicate to them bases that showed the main communication points for the AFRC/RUF about mid-1998?

  • Did you - can you explain what the map says in terms of radio communication?

  • Yes, this map, this is the map of Sierra Leone and then it is indicating areas where the RUF major radio stations operated.

  • This was in 1998, mid-1998. This is what the map is talking about.

  • You said that you travelled to Rosos in about September. Does this indication - do the indications we have on the map cover that period as well?

  • Did you make these indications to the lawyers for the Prosecution during your interviews with them?

  • Yes, these areas - I told the lawyer that these were the areas where the major radio communications were on this map.

  • Your Honours, the Prosecution moves that this document be marked for identification.

  • A one page map headed "AFRC/RUF primary radio locations - mid-1998" is marked for identification MFI-45.

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Now, Mr Witness, regarding the map that we have just looked at, what was the state of communication between all of these locations?

  • Mr Bangura, sorry to interrupt. I am not sure exactly - I am looking at this map. I don't know what is what on this map and you are trying to lead evidence that these were the areas for communication. What areas? We are looking at a map with a lot of things on it.

  • Your Honours, I can get the witness to locate - to name specific locations. Can the witness be shown the map again, please.

  • This other area --

  • Mr Witness, if you would like me to lead you through the map, please?

  • Now, if we look at the map and taking it from eastwards, sorry, westwards, or, if you like, to your left, and we try and go clockwise, what is the first location that you have indicated there?

  • Well, I want to start it from the east.

  • If that is more convenient for you, fine. Can you guide us then?

  • This one, that is at the eastern part of Sierra Leone, is Buedu where Sam Bockarie was, okay? Then this, Koindu, which is after Buedu, is also in the eastern part of Sierra Leone, which is Kono District and that was where Superman has left and left Morris Kallon in charge. The other one you see up there, with the red line, you see Kabala.

  • Mr Witness, it would be helpful if you took a pen and actually indicated the places you are talking about so we can see.

  • Thank you. I start again. I will go a little slower. Here where you see the red, that is in the east on the right-hand side of the map, you see Buedu. This was the control station for the RUF. That was where Sam Bockarie, alias Mosquito, was based. The other one, on the same right-hand side, you can see Koidu, which is Kono. There also is the eastern part of Sierra Leone that is Kono District. That was where Superman was initially based. He left there and he left Morris Kallon in charge. You can see at the upper side of the map, the map of Sierra Leone, you can see in the middle of the map you can see it is written "northern" and then you can look at the upper side of the right and then you see Kabala, which is the District called Koinadugu and the headquarters is Kabala. You can see the red indication, that was where Superman met SAJ Musa and then SAJ Musa was there, Superman was there, together with other authorities. Then if you move just opposite the name "north" on the left-hand side of the map, you can see another red indication. You can see Kukuna and Madina with a big writing "Rosos". That was where Gullit was based and then there was a small village around Rosos, the village which was called Rosos, but inside the jungle the jungle was called Colonel Eddie Ground. All of these four areas I have pointed at indicate the areas where our communications were.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. These, as you have said, were the main communication bases at the time, is that correct?

  • Now, just before you take your seat can you just indicate on the map the locations that you travelled? Between which two points did you travel? You were moving from Koinadugu, is that right?

  • And you were going to Rosos, is that correct?

  • Well, if you can further indicate the places.

  • Sorry, I didn't get you clearly. I thought you had said I should explain to you how I travelled through the areas. Is that what you are saying?

  • I basically wanted you to just indicate where you were coming from and where you arrived at.

  • Okay, fine. At first I left this place, Koidu. From there I came to Koinadugu. From there I came to Rosos. That was how my movement went.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. You may take your seat. Now, you have told this Court that you arrived at Rosos on 21 September 1998, is that correct?

  • Can you describe what happened when you arrived at Rosos?

  • When we got to Rosos we met Gullit, Five Five and other authorities. They welcomed us and from there Gullit wrote a radio message and sent it to Superman, Mosquito and SAJ Musa showing that he had received the manpower and all the things he sent, which were ammunition, and they are all welcome. Then also the commander, who was O5, who took us along, he also wrote a message to SAJ Musa and Superman explaining that we have reached Rosos. Then we went to the meeting ground where we normally call the parade ground. O5 brought - presented all the material and all the civilians who were abducted on the way. He presented them all to Gullit. After that they gave us a place to take our rest for the first day.

  • Now, you said that the supplies which you took, including arms and ammunition, were presented to Gullit. What was the state of their own arsenal at the time. Did they have as much, at the time, to keep them going?

  • Say again.

  • What was the state of their stock at Rosos before you got there? You took - you brought along with you arms and ammunitions which you presented to them, but before you got there did you know what the situation was with them?

  • At Rosos they had arms shortage. They never had much arms. That was why when we are leaving we went with the arms and ammunition.

  • Now, earlier you said that before you left Koinadugu your force was composed of 250 AFRC, about 60 RUF and some STF men. Was it the same number that arrived at Rosos?

  • No. Let me just make it clear so that you will understand. During the period of the intervention from Freetown to Makeni not everybody was able to follow us to go to the jungle. For example, back in Kabala some people left their deployment in other villages and they found it difficult to go to the towns and, therefore, they hid themselves in bushes so they were staying there. Therefore, they divided themselves into groups and then when they heard that we were going along attacking areas from Koinadugu to Rosos a good number of the RUF came back and joined us. In fact, the number that we now reported to Gullit, we were more than 500. The number increased to 500 and most of the men who came, they had guns, and we welcomed them to join us. So that was how the number increased.

  • Thank you. Now, you have said that when you arrived Gullit prepared and sent a message about your arrival. To whom was the message sent?

  • Gullit sent the message to SAJ Musa and Superman and they informed Sam Bockarie. That was how the message was addressed.

  • Now, did you yourself engage in radio communication during the period that you were at Rosos?

  • Yes, beside Alfred Brown I was the most senior radio officer on the ground. Alfred Brown was just there to supervise the work that we did.

  • Now, what was going on at Rosos about this time?

  • Say that again. What time are you referring to?

  • At the time that you arrived there what were the main activities that the troops there were engaged in?

  • After we got to Rosos we didn't meet food on the ground, so the immediate task we undertook - because according to the order it said when we got there, in two or three days we should engage ourselves in military operations, so that was the order that we brought from SAJ Musa. Then when we got there, within the next two days we went on food finding. We were on that food finding and then we started planning for military operations at the time we got there. We undertook two major missions before we experienced that SAJ Musa was coming towards our location.

  • Which missions did you undertake apart from the food finding missions? You have mentioned two, which missions were they?

  • One was on the 27th day that we took off in the evening. We went to attack Kukuna and on the 28th, in the morning, we attacked Kukuna. That was in September. I still recall that date we attacked Kukuna. We got rid of one lieutenant who was a Guinean, he was also a communications officer, and one corporal who was just a fighter and we got so many ammunition also from the Guineans.

  • Your Honours, Kukuna is K-U-K-U-N-A:

  • Now, the Guineans who you just mentioned, do you remember to which force they belonged?

  • Well, they were fighting alongside the Sierra Leone Government troops because Kukuna is located in Sierra Leone, so they went there and established their base there. They were assisting the Sierra Leone Government.

  • And what happened during this operation at Kukuna, apart from the two men, the Guineans that you mentioned, what happened?

  • Any civilian we saw in Kukuna we didn't leave them there. Those who were able to carry our loads, we decided to save them because they decided to carry our loads, but we killed almost all the civilians we met on our way and we burnt down part of Kukuna.

  • Apart from Kukuna which other operation did you undertake from Rosos?

  • The next major operation - I have spoken about two operations and I have spoken about one. The next one I will talk about - there was, of course, another operation but that was not too important. This other major operation I was not present. I was in the sick bed because at Kukuna I was - I got a serious injury, so this did not allow me to take part in the other mission, which was the Gbendembu mission, Gbendembu where we had passed through when we were on our way coming, at the time we were coming from Koinadugu. After we had passed, ECOMOG troops went and based there, many of them, so our troops went on food finding patrol and then they saw them. When they brought this report to the headquarters we sent a radio message from our headquarter where the place which was SAJ Musa and Superman Ground, that was in Koinadugu. They sent an instruction that we should attack that place and make sure that the place is captured. Then they dispatched a mission. Men went and attacked. They brought so many weapons. I saw over five to six SLAs captured who were fighting alongside the ECOMOG to attack our positions, but when our men went and attacked they surrounded them.

  • They surrounded who?

  • They surrendered to our men. The SLAs who were amongst the ECOMOG, they surrendered to the juntas, that is the AFRC and the RUF. They surrendered to them, then they brought them to our base, that is Rosos.

  • Was anything done to these men who surrendered to your forces?

  • Yes, according to what they told us when they returned at the base, they said the men were many, but they said those who were hostile, they killed them, but those they were able to capture, they brought them, and the six men they brought to the base, later they joined us and they fought alongside with us to fight against ECOMOG and the government forces.

  • Can we go back to radio communications while you were at Rosos. As you engaged in these activities was any report made to anyone about your progress?

  • Yes, any time we went on a mission, whatever material we captured we will put it into a message and we will put into the message how many fighters got wounded. We will also put into message how many fighters were killed and then we will send that to SAJ Musa and then we will give the information to Sam Bockarie. That was how we sent and addressed our messages.

  • Can you recall how often your communications were with the other locations that you occupied, I mean Koinadugu and Buedu?

  • During this period there was frequent communication almost every day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, or the evening, with Buedu. That went on almost all the time with Koinadugu. It depended on the kind of information they had for us, but we cannot just sit down and start talking. When we wanted to send an information we will call them and then we send that information. When they are ready too, they will call us and then they will tell us. When they are sending information, or they received information from other areas, we will monitor and write down the information. That was how we did it. For example, if Buedu wanted to receive or transmit a message to Kono we will monitor and write down the message and inform our commanders later and tell them these are the developments Buedu has been talking about. We did that almost every day.

  • Earlier you mentioned that the state of communication in Rosos was not well-developed and that was a reason why yourself and Alfred Brown were ordered to go and join the team in Rosos. Now, did you do anything to improve that situation when you arrived in Rosos?

  • Yes. When we were leaving Koinadugu we went along with two radio sets to Rosos and then we almost took along three operators so those were all progress towards communication. So, when we went, the radio they had, we condemned it and then the better one that we went with, we had to reset it and then this was the communication that we are now using from Rosos to all the other stations under the RUF.

  • Now, just before we go on, you had said earlier that two of you, yourself and Alfred Brown, were ordered from Koinadugu - from Superman Ground and at Koinadugu two other operators were appointed that joined you, so we had four. Just now you have said that you went with almost three operators. Can you clarify yourself?

  • Okay, if I had said three operators then I am right because Alfred Brown was just a supervisor. If he wanted, he will come on the radio. If he never wanted, he will sit aside because he was just a senior man, but he knew about the communications.

  • Apart from bringing to Rosos two radio sets and helping to install them, did you do anything else to improve the system of communication from Rosos to your other locations?

  • Yes, beside the RUF zone our communication only extended not just to other places, but our communication never extended this time round, but it was only when we captured this Guinean officer with a Motorola that we started communicating with the Guineans. We started communicating with the Guineans because we used the officer that we captured who was a lieutenant. He called his nearest commander on that Kukuna axis in Guinea. Anything O5 told him he will tell him, so sometimes he will tell him that we are all over this area so they shouldn't come around that area, so for that reason the Guineans were afraid of coming around our areas, so that was how we later extended our communication. But beside that, any activity that went on in Buedu we will monitor it and write it in our log book, but beside that we never had contact outside at that moment.

  • Did you do anything about the code that was used from Rosos?

  • I don't understand this question.

  • Was there, before your arrival at Rosos, any difficulty in - apart from having one radio set, was there any difficulty in the manner in which they communicated the messages to the rest of the locations that you had at the time?

  • Yes, at Rosos there was a problem with the radio set. In the first place it was not good and, secondly, they never had the code. That was one of the major problems that led to poor communication from Rosos before we got there, but when we went we took along with us the code that will make the communication nicer.

  • During your stay at Rosos did anything happen that - did anything happen - or did you know about what was going on around the rest of the country at the time?

  • Yes, through the communication I used to know what went on with regards RUF operations. What I would want to start with is, 1, just the way I had stated it during my statement, that any movement Sam Bockarie wanted to take from Sierra Leone, Buedu to Liberia, he will inform us and then anything he brought he will inform us. One thing I will want to say is that the last good information that we got before the arrival of SAJ Musa was that when Sam Bockarie returned from Liberia he sent a general message saying that the mission that was planned, he has brought the materials. Those are arms and ammunition to start the mission effectively. Then he said he was presently at Buedu and then also he sent troops for them to come and receive the ammunition for the mission for Kono that they should take from Buedu to Kailahun. So from there Koinadugu got theirs, Rosos got their own arms and ammunition for this mission that we had gone to Buedu to plan. That was one of the things that went on and also --

  • Just before you move on to the next point, when did you get this communication from Sam Bockarie about the arrival of arms and ammunition?

  • It was after we had gone through these missions that I have spoken about, first after the Kukuna mission. That was the time we received this message to inform all stations, all commanders in the various jungles, that the ammunition has arrived at Buedu from Liberia according to plans.

  • You have mentioned that the communication from Bockarie indicated that the various groups had been provided, or were allotted their own share of arms and ammunition. How did you get your own share at the time?

  • During this time - it is a long story that if I am given a chance I will narrate when and how we didn't get. What happened was that ours arrived in Kono, after which Kono was supposed to have taken them to Koinadugu, but after the arrival of the ammunition in Koinadugu, which was designed for Koinadugu and Rosos, it was at that time serious problem erupted between Superman and SAJ Musa, but I cannot actually tell now to this Court because when SAJ Musa was moving I don't know whether he actually moved with the ammunition because the moment SAJ Musa reached our base, the RUF personnels on the communication he removed us from there totally. He said we shouldn't go on the radio again. So it will be difficult for me a little to explain that process, whether SAJ Musa had the ammunition from Koinadugu and whether he brought it.

  • Now, during your stay at Rosos did you get any news about what was going on in Freetown at the time?

  • Yes, before the arrival of SAJ Musa we heard over the national radio, and even the BBC, that the SLPP government of Tejan Kabbah has killed 24 soldiers. It was on the international and national media. That was a news that was announced every day and night, so after we, the fighters, got the information everybody went angry. Immediately we got the news we held a meeting and we said to ourselves that the government who has killed those soldiers, we will make sure that we handle the people militarily, so some men started singing. They said - the music was nice, but I am not a good singer. They said: "Who killed the soldiers? Who killed the soldiers?", and everybody was dancing in the camp and everybody started shooting in the air, so that gave people the zeal to take immediate action against them.

  • Now, you said that the news you got from Freetown was that the government killed 24 soldiers. Were you able to know exactly how they killed these soldiers?

  • Say again.

  • You said they killed 24 soldiers. Did you know how these 24 soldiers were killed?

  • Yes, according to what I heard on the radio and even the people whom we captured on the way who were civilians, they said the people faced the firing squad and they were shot with guns and they said the ECOMOG did the operation, approved by the Government of Sierra Leone.

  • Now, you have described the reaction of the troops at Rosos to this news. Did you know how the news was taken by commanders at the other locations that you had: Buedu, Koinadugu and Koidu?

  • In fact, the communication that was between us, the people in Buedu, Kono, Koinadugu, in fact what they told us was that they were more disgruntled than us because they were far away from us. They said if they were in the area where we were, the week the incident took place they would have entered Freetown without fail.

  • When you say "they said", who said?

  • These are the groups I am talking about. In fact, Mosquito was on the air and Morris Kallon also was in the air and Superman too was on the air, and they were speaking with Gullit. That was a communication that they were undertaking. It was not just by ordinary messages. It was a communication between themselves. They said if they were the people in our position at that moment, when they had enough manpower and strong manpower and they trusted their men, they would not spend a week, they would enter Freetown.

  • Now, you have mentioned that SAJ Musa came to Rosos, correct?

  • Yes.

  • When did he come to Rosos?

  • It was late, it was around November that SAJ Musa went to Rosos. It was around November 1998.

  • Why did he come to Rosos?

  • After all the problems according to what - when SAJ Musa left Koinadugu a radio communication came, went to Sam Bockarie, Mosquito, from Superman. According to Superman the message he sent to all stations, he said a problem had erupted between SAJ Musa and himself, Superman, and this was not just to do - this caused fighting amongst themselves and during that fighting they reported about people who died. As a result, SAJ Musa flee and they never knew where he went to. After a few days SAJ Musa was able to run away with a radio set and then they called directly to Rosos that SAJ Musa said to Gullit that he was on his way coming. He said the reason why he was coming, he had had a clash with Superman so he is no longer with them. So he was saying please that they should send a receiving team to receive him. He said Gullit should send a receiving team from SAJ Musa to come and receive them. That was what Gullit did.

  • Can you just clarify, I have it here that "Gullit should send a receiving team from SAJ Musa", is that what you said?

  • Yes, SAJ Musa requested a receiving team to come and receive him from Gullit's place whilst he was on his way to Rosos.

  • Now, did you yourself receive this message from SAJ Musa?

  • Yes, of course at that time I was not operating, but in the morning I would go and sit around the radio. There were other operators working and when they received any message I needed to see it before ever it went to the commander.

  • Can you describe what happened when SAJ Musa arrived?

  • What I would want to start with, before SAJ Musa arrived he was around Mateboi. He transmitted a message saying to Gullit - he said Gullit and O5 should arrest all the RUF personnel that were amongst them and also all the RUF radio operators, they should remove them from the radio, and no commander, no soldier was to communicate with the RUF that were in Koinadugu, Kono and Kailahun District no more before his arrival.

  • Was this order carried out?

  • I know the arrest of the combatants of the RUF was not possible. I left - I was there when Gullit and O5 responded that if they attempted to arrest RUF they will destabilise them all, RUF will destabilise them all, so they suggested to SAJ Musa that the arrests shouldn't be carried out and even if they arrested the RUF, or attempted to arrest the RUF, the mission will fail. So, they did not agree for that to happen, but they agreed to remove the RUF personnel who were communicating on the radio before the arrival of SAJ Musa. SAJ Musa has not yet arrived.

  • What happened when he actually arrived?

  • SAJ Musa, we went ahead of him at the edge of the town. That was where I stood. Before he arrived the soldiers - in fact, everybody was happy. The SLAs were so happy. SAJ Musa was not walking on foot. In fact, they carried him high and singing his praises. They said the leader has come. Among SAJ Musa's group I saw Father Mario who was the reverend father around that area which they assaulted. Father Mario was brought to the base and when SAJ Musa arrived he said - immediately he arrived he went to the meeting ground and said as of today he is no longer an AFRC, neither an RUF. He had come to Gullit for them to form their own movement, therefore Gullit should not send a message anymore to anybody. Gullit should not communicate to anybody. He said he knew now to whom he would communicate. Then he ensured that no RUF operator operated the radio.

  • How did he do this? How did he ensure that RUF operators did not use the radio?

  • Well, he was to keep us far away from the radio, all radio materials were to be reported to him and no radio communication should be sent anywhere anymore, except at the house where he was, where SAJ Musa was. He gave us a warning letter to all RUF personnel. I had mine up to the time we went to Freetown and even when I returned and joined up with Superman and others, I presented this letter to them, that this was the situation.

  • Now, did any - was any other matter discussed at Rosos by SAJ Musa after his arrival?

  • Yes, when SAJ Musa arrived he said they should set up a new administration which would lead them to success and, indeed, that is what happened. He said he, SAJ Musa, he was a new SLA neither RUF nor AFRC. He said he was the leader for this group. Gullit was the second in command. Bazzy deputised Gullit, followed by Five Five and other commanders. From there they set up brigade commanders, battalion commanders, company commanders and unit commanders. Then he pointed out that our mission was for Freetown. He said before those men could get there we should be the first to get there. He said our mission was for Freetown, but at that time we had ammunition to do that.

  • Can you just give this Court an idea as to what the size of SAJ Musa's entourage was that came to Rosos from Koinadugu?

  • Oh, no, the manpower was too much, but what I saw and what I can say is that there were more than 1,000.

  • Thank you. Now, following this discussion that SAJ Musa had with the group at Rosos were any plans made to do anything?

  • Yes, after they had appointed commanders and unit commanders the plan was to move directly to Freetown and while we were moving we were to attack towns and villages and that was how we moved.

  • Was there any particular route agreed on?

  • Yes, firstly we agreed that we were not going to use a straight route. We were going to move like guerillas. We were to attack, while the enemy would be focused on that we would use another route. That was how we were moving. After we had crossed Little Scarcies, another big river in Sierra Leone, in the north, we attacked around Madina. We also attacked around Kambia, but we did not enter Kambia itself. We came and attacked the - I am going to call the big towns the main towns, the main road between Freetown and Makeni, we attacked Lunsar and came back and attacked Masiaka.

  • [Microphone not activated] at this stage. Your Honours, I will provide some spellings here. Little Scarcies is Little, as normal word, Scarcies is S-C-A-R-C-I-E-S. That is the name of a river. Madina is M-A-D-I-N-A. Kambia is K-A-M-B-I-A. Lunsar is L-U-N-S-A-R and Masiaka is M-A-S-I-A-K-A.

  • Just before we proceed with the route that you took, do you recall when you left Rosos for Freetown?

  • Yes, it was in December when we left Rosos for Freetown.

  • What time in December, early, late?

  • It was in early December when we left Rosos. We spent more time before we arrived at Waterloo.

  • Now, you were at Masiaka. How did you you proceed from Masiaka?

  • We moved from Masiaka, found another prominent area which was the RDF, which was at the main highway to - the Masiaka-Freetown highway and we covered some villages, Songo Junction. That was another road to the Moyamba area, but we did not actually move on the main highway. Sometimes we moved, or we would jump into the bush and attack, divert their attention until we got to Four Mile, Six Mile, Lumpa, Waterloo, Benguema.

  • Your Honours, I will give some spellings here. Songo is S-O-N-G-O. Moyamba is M-O-Y-A-M-B-A. Four Mile just Four and Mile, F-O-U-R M-I-L-E and the same for Six Mile. Lumpa is L-U-M-P-A. Waterloo is as normal. Benguema is B-E-N-G-U-E-M-A:

  • Can you describe - you said you attacked starting from Madina right through down to Benguema. You have named all the towns and villages that you passed through and you have said that you attacked some of these. What was the result of these attacks as you came along?

  • Say that again.

  • You said that you were attacking these locations as you travelled towards Freetown. What happened in the attacks, ie not really specific to one of them, but generally can you describe the pattern that flowed from your attacks on these towns and villages as you approached Freetown?

  • Well, we used to attack government troops and ECOMOG positions. We had casualties and they too had casualties. We would capture ammunition from them. We would burn down houses, abduct civilians and they carried our loads for us and we used to go around cutting hands during those missions up to that point.

  • Now, the last point you mentioned where you were was Benguema. Did anything happen when you arrived at Benguema?

  • Yes, at Benguema was an SLA barracks, or training barracks and it was there that all the ECOMOG that came to the provinces had their headquarters. We arrived there with SAJ Musa. During this attack we were able to capture Benguema and so many arms and ammunition because they had just brought their supplies.

  • When did you arrive at Benguema?

  • It was in December, late December. It was in late December. I can't tell lies, I can't tell you the specific date now.

  • When you say late December, was it before Christmas?

  • It was around Christmas time, around the 25th.

  • Just continue, please.

  • After we had attacked Benguema we were able to capture Benguema. Luckily for us we were able to capture a lot of ammunition, but the ammunition that we were coming with we had problems with the manpower. We had more than 1,000 civilians who were carrying our loads for us. In fact, the father who was among us was full of admiration saying that we were able to control the civilians who were carrying loads for us. So when we arrived at Benguema and the other ammunition we captured from ECOMOG, we couldn't carry them to Freetown, so SAJ Musa said, "These ammunition, if they stayed here these people would use them to attack us." He said, "The best thing to do is to set fire to the ammo dump." SAJ Musa and the other authorities went to the officers' mess. They went there, they ate and drank. They came and stood by the road and SAJ Musa passed an order to set fire to the ammo dump so that when ECOMOG, or the government troops arrive they will not be able to use it anymore. The whole place was set on fire, but in the ammo dump bombs were there, 180 millimetre bombs were there and some other bombs and their tubes, so the fire exploded the roof and the bomb blasted. We just heard that this bomb that had blasted, SAJ Musa had dropped. When we went there he had fallen down, but it was not far away from the house where this fire was. There were so many other soldiers there, so they took SAJ Musa. Everybody was coming to see. But before that other groups had moved. They had moved towards the peninsula road. When you reach Waterloo you enter Benguema, you avoid the Freetown highway to go Freetown directly. You use another route to come to Freetown that is called peninsula road. It is the bypass through to Freetown. The other groups went there and stayed there. They had not known that SAJ Musa had died, or so and so thing had happened to SAJ Musa, and we were not expecting that SAJ Musa would die at that time. They took SAJ Musa and they placed him on a plank. They called the medical personnel who were among us, they touched him and he was not moving and they said to leave him for a while. They took him to some place. They thought he had just fainted away. They did that, but SAJ Musa died. Some people said we should carry SAJ Musa along as we went along fighting until we finally bury him. Some people said no. Gullit and others came together and said he was a dead man and so many people had died among these troops, we did not carry them, so let us bury SAJ Musa as a guerilla, so they took some leaves and put them over SAJ Musa. Everybody was doing that until we finally left. We left that location and went in the middle of the forest.

  • Can I pause you a little, please. Apart from SAJ Musa was anybody else affected by this blast, by this blast that occurred?

  • Madam President, it is a small point, but earlier when the witness was talking about the ammunition that exploded I thought I heard him say mortar bomb, which would make sense in terms of the description he gave. I could be wrong there, but I am sure I heard him say mortar and it wasn't actually translated. I could be wrong.

  • I thought I heard him say 180 mortar bombs.

  • So we both heard mortar.

  • My recollection was 180 millimetre bomb:

  • Mr Witness, can you again say within the ammunition dump that you have just talked about in Benguema, did you talk about bombs in there of any kind?

  • Yes, I talked about bombs and the ammunitions were by category. They had 180 millimetre bombs, which were mortar bombs.

  • Thank you. Now, after the death of SAJ Musa and his burial you said you then moved on to - you were going to go on to some other episode. Where did you go to?

  • We moved and joined the other groups which had separated from us. We stopped them and they waited for us and we explained to them that this was what had happened. In that forest we rested there for the whole day and the authority that was with us, after SAJ Musa had gone and now Gullit had taken the place of SAJ Musa, that was how the other group came up. So Gullit and other men suggested that the best thing to do was that SAJ Musa had met us and the RUF working together sending information and they too were sending information to us, but when SAJ Musa and Superman had a conflict, which resulted in fighting, SAJ Musa said we should have nothing to do with these people. Now that SAJ Musa had died, let us now call Mosquito and inform him that we have reached Waterloo and we are beyond Benguema and we are seeking advice. Whatever he said we would tell him to accept, so that we would work together again. We will not tell him directly that SAJ Musa has died as of that time. That was what people suggested. From there Gullit called --

  • Just before you get on to the call, I realise that a question I asked before the interruption by my learned friend was not answered. The question was: Was anyone else affected by the blast? You said there was a blast at the ammunition dump and you said Musa fell and he died. Was anybody else affected by that blast?

  • No, I did not see anybody injured. I did not see anybody die.

  • Now, please continue. You have just said that it was agreed to contact Mosquito and to seek his advice. Was he contacted at all?

  • Yes, Gullit called Alfred Brown who was a supervisor for communication. He called us all up, those of us who were RUF who they had told not to communicate anymore. They said we should call Mosquito. Alfred Brown gave me the order and I called Mosquito. Before that Gullit called Mosquito, but Mosquito did not respond. They called me. They said they should summon the RUF operators, that when we called Mosquito he would respond. I called Mosquito and luckily he was not far off. The radio man said wait, Mosquito would come. When Mosquito came, I called and he responded. He asked me, "Perry, what happened? I have been calling you and I have not been getting any information from you? You were the radio operator who we had sent at that place." And I said, "That is an issue that should be addressed by Gullit", and I said, "At the moment I can't address that issue." I left - I handed the mike over to Mr Gullit and Gullit explained that we had continued attacking up to Waterloo, Benguema, we were at some place now seeking advice. Sam Bockarie said, "How can I give you advice when, in the first place, when you were getting ready to take off you did not inform me? Even when you were operating you had the radio men, you had radios, but nobody informed me." He said, "But we would like to talk to you just so you can provide us advice." He said, "Okay, the best thing to do it is simple. Now you have reached that point, that trip" --

  • Your Honours, can the witness slow down.

  • You have to slow down and, secondly, you are talking about two people in a conversation here. As much as you can, try to say who was saying what. It doesn't help us much if you just say "he said", "he said", okay? If it is Mosquito who said something say "Mosquito said". Is that clear?

  • Mosquito said Gullit should wait for Superman and Issa Sesay and others to join him so that the manpower and the command structure would be strong before Gullit could enter. He said if that were the case it would be all right. Then Gullit said if it were for the ammunition we have ammunition to enter. He said, "No, that is not the reason. It is for the command structure. It will be strong for you." Then Gullit said, "The best thing was that I would tell my men and whatever they agreed on I will come back and tell you." Then we closed the radio. Gullit called - Gullit summoned a short meeting to inform his men what they had discussed and after --

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. You mentioned that Mosquito asked Gullit not to enter, but to wait until he provided support. Enter where?

  • That Gullit should not enter Freetown.

  • Yes, you were going to go to what Gullit did after the communication with Mosquito. What did he do?

  • What Gullit did was that he called all the officers on the mission and explained to them. The majority of them said they shouldn't wait, that our group should not wait for those groups which Mosquito had called, if anything they should meet us ahead. So, since it was a majority all of us accepted to go to Freetown. It was from that point that we went and attacked Hastings and, luckily for us, we were able to get ammunition. We went to York, but of course we were not able to capture York, but we were able to capture some ammunition and we returned.

  • Can I pause you there, Mr Witness. You said that Mosquito had suggested sending support and you said he mentioned some names of commanders that he was going to send. I think you mentioned some names. Can you go back to that and tell us which names that Mosquito mentioned?

  • Yes, according to the plan from Buedu to start with, Mosquito had to allow people to attack Kono. Morris Kallon, Issa Sesay, Rambo moved from Kono together with all the battalion and brigade commanders. Superman too moved from Koinadugu and attacked Kabala, attacked Makeni, Magburaka, Mile 91, Masiaka. They were to join us, but in the interim they had passed Lunsar and they were coming towards Masiaka. Troops were moving from 91. There were troops in 91. They were the RUF according to the plan. There were troops in 91. They had attacked there and based there. There were troops in Masiaka and some men were in Lunsar. They had attacked and were based there. They were seeking advice. It was those troops whom Superman, or Mosquito told Gullit to wait for.

  • Thank you. You said that the men, Gullit's men, after the meeting he held with them, said that you should go ahead with your entry into Freetown and that those others would meet with you later, or meet ahead with you. What do you mean?

  • Say that again.

  • You said that the others, the team, Gullit's team, when he had a meeting with them about what Mosquito had said, that they should wait, that all of you should wait until he sent you support, they decided no, not to wait but to go ahead and they said that - you said that they would meet with you ahead once you had moved on. What do you mean that they would meet with you ahead?

  • What I mean is that the officers who were with Gullit, the majority decided that we should go ahead and attack Freetown, so whenever the other groups came they would join us.

  • Now, you have mentioned two locations already within the Western Area that you attacked: Hastings and York. After those two areas did you go on further to - did you continue with your move into Freetown?

  • Yes, we started to attack Freetown at night. It was at night that we started attacking Freetown up to daybreak. After we had attacked all these areas I have spoken about we entered Freetown at night. We continued attacking up to daybreak.

  • What date did you enter Freetown proper?

  • It was 6 January.

  • Your Honours, I note the time. That is the two hour limit.

  • I think, in the circumstances, we will take the mid-morning break now and we will resume at 12 o'clock. Please adjourn the Court.

  • [Break taken at 11.30 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.00 p.m.]

  • Thank you, your Honour:

  • Just before the break we were about to discuss your entry into Freetown, correct?

  • Now, I just want to clear up a small issue that we have dealt with already and that has to do with the move from Koinadugu to Rosos. It is just a small point. Now during the period that you were moving between Koinadugu to Rosos, were there - you have mentioned that there were soldiers, SLAs, who were occupying towns and villages along the route and they were government forces. Is that correct?

  • And they were considered the enemy at that time. Is that correct?

  • Now apart from these, were there any other threats that you were exposed to - security threats I mean - during the journey?

  • Oh, yes, Civil Defence Forces were around. We called them Kamajors.

  • Now, did you receive any communication from any of your bases about threats that you were exposed to on your way?

  • During the course of your journey to Rosos, were there any communications which updated you on the threats that you were faced with?

  • Yes, communication was going on. Besides the troops, which were the government forces and the Civil Defence Forces, ECOMOG used to attack us from the air - air raid. The jet was coming from Lungi and attack our positions. And it was not only us. They were attacking positions like Kailahun, Kono, Koinadugu and also even as we were moving it used to attack our positions. But this attack that this jet was doing, in our communication we had two areas how we could communicate. We had radio operators. They were just there to monitor on the radio the activities of ECOMOG. They will give us information about how ECOMOG was moving towards us, or even if the Alpha jet was coming to our location. That is how we got the information. So, when they were going to attack us we would hide elsewhere until they pass and we come out again.

  • Now, in what form was this information passed on to you about ECOMOG air raids?

  • Well, all information about the movement of our enemy troops - and when I say enemy troops that includes the Kamajors, the Sierra Leone army, ECOMOG - that was all coded. For example, when the jet was coming from Freetown or Lungi we had a particular code name for that. We called it 448. So when I called the other station I said "448", I will call the location of the station and where it will be heading for, but if that jet was attacking my position I will just say "448". That was my location code. The word 448 means jet has moved, or it has attacked our location.

  • So to be clear, Mr Witness, 448 referred to a possible air raid by the jet - ECOMOG jet. Is that correct?

  • And did you get these sort of messages on your way from Koinadugu to Rosos?

  • Yes. Yes, many times I received that message myself and other people who took over after me for a while when I was resting they will get that message. When that message will come, everybody would know. In fact, all the AFRC/RUF combatants had that code. When they heard that code, "448", that meant there was a jet around and so everybody would run to hide.

  • Where were these messages coming from?

  • As I was talking about monitoring communication set, we had a particular radio set in Buedu monitored by the AFRC that was the former SLA. That group was monitoring and giving the message to the transmission. That was the control station in Buedu and they would send it to all stations. That was their responsibility. That 448 information was coming from Buedu, Sam Bockarie's station.

  • Now, let us come to Freetown. You have testified already that you entered Freetown on 6 January 1999, correct?

  • Yes, it is correct.

  • Now, can you describe your entry into Freetown. From which end of Freetown did you get into the city?

  • Well, we used the main highway from Waterloo to Freetown, from Kossoh Town - from Hastings, Kossoh Town to Freetown. We entered from the eastern part of Freetown and we entered with heavy firing. We entered Freetown fighting, but before we got to Freetown we divided ourselves into groups.

  • Hold on, Mr Witness. (Your Honours, Kossoh Town is K-O-S-S-O-H, Kossoh). Yes, you have said you divided yourselves into groups. Which groups did you divide yourselves into?

  • We divided ourselves into fighting groups. That means - you know, Freetown is not a small village. It is a very big city if we didn't divide ourselves into groups. Every group had a commander, who will lead it. We appointed some areas where the commanders would go like Ferry Junction, that is one point, Ferry Junction covered Upgun, and also State House in Freetown, that was one target, the second target was Pademba Road, which is the maximum prison in Freetown, and we had the National Stadium and these are the areas I can recall. We divided our groups according to these areas and appointed commanders to go to these areas.

    As for me personally, I was in a group with my radio with my men and we entered Pademba Road. Some other group went to State House, some other went to National Stadium and the others we left at Ferry Junction. That is from the back. That was how we divided ourselves and, as we entered, everybody would go his various ways.

  • Now can you describe, you said you were with the group that went to Pademba Road. Is that correct?

  • And can you describe the activities that you engaged in when you entered Freetown, your group?

  • What did your group do on the day that you entered Freetown?

  • I said we divided ourselves into groups. I was among the group that went to Pademba Road. What we did at Pademba Road, our mission was to receive Foday Sankoh and to also release all the political detainees who were called collaborators of the juntas. That was our mission.

  • Mr Witness, what was at Pademba Road?

  • Pademba Road, that is the maximum prison in Freetown. Those who were at Pademba Road were the RUF and the AFRC detainees detained by the government of Sierra Leone, and even the former leader, that is Foday Sankoh, he was jailed there. That is why we made it a target to go there and release all - to release him and all the fighters and members of the AFRC and RUF who were under detention there.

  • Did you succeed in doing this?

  • Perfectly, yes. All the targets that I have been naming, everybody succeeded. We who were at Pademba Road we attacked and drove away all the securities, we used force on the Prison Officers to open the gates and some of them - we beat some of them because they delayed us. We opened the gate and we asked them where was Foday Sankoh and they said that people they had taken Foday Sankoh. They didn't know where he had been taken to. We opened the gate, everybody went outside and we made sure all the rooms were open and everybody went out.

    Pademba Road was congested. In fact, some prisoners were sleeping on cartons. All the rooms were occupied. Civilians, juntas, RUF rebels, all of those who were there were released, including former President JS Momoh and one of the journalists, Hilton Fyle, he was among them with some other important people. Because of time now I cannot name everybody, but these are the names I can remember now. And also Gibril Massaquoi, who was former spokesman for the RUF. These are the names that I can recall right now.

  • Thank you. Now, your Honours, I need to go over some spellings. Fyle I see the spelling here is different. It is F-Y-L-E. Hilton Fyle. Massaquoi, okay, that is correct:

  • Now apart from Gibril Massaquoi who was a senior member of the RUF as you have said, was there any other member, senior person within the RUF that was released from prison that day?

  • The only person I can remember was a friend of RUF who was Steve Bio. He was a businessman, he was a friend to RUF, but I was not too sure whether he was a full member of RUF. But there were other men, because after the release of these people at Pademba Road our manpower in Freetown nobody could tell, because even ourselves we didn't know each other any more because those who came from Pademba Road had one slang. They said they were born naked. Their password was they will strip themselves naked. They can only tie some cloth around them. When you meet them they can just wave to you as they are bare naked so you know they are the fighters from Pademba Road. This was how they acted.

  • Your Honours, Bio is B-I-O. Steve is spelt normally:

  • Now these prisoners that you release from Pademba Road, did you take them anywhere?

  • Yes, not everybody because we had fighters and senior officers who we should - whom we should respect, and Gibril Massaquoi was one, former President JS Momoh, Hilton Fyle, whom I mentioned, Steve Bio and other prominent people that I cannot name now. When this other group got to State House, which was another target, that was where the senior officers Gullit Five-Five, Bazzy, Papa, all of them went and based there, and therefore they requested for these people that they should be brought to State House for their safety. The idea we had was that State House was safe for our officers and those people who had been released from prison and, therefore, they all went there and they were seated there. And also another group of ours moved to National Stadium. That was packed full as well with former SLA, who were disarmed and they were imprisoned. So, we released them as well and they joined us to fight. In fact if I think about the number that we released from National Stadium and Pademba Road, they were even more than we the fighters who entered Freetown. So State House became a safe zone when that was our concentration from the day we entered Freetown, but as time went by information came that we should abandon State House.

  • Just pause. Now you have said that from Pademba Road you released members of the AFRC and the RUF, some senior and some of them fighters, and you took the more senior ones, or more important ones, to State House. What about the fighters?

  • Fine. The fighters were even more angry than us. What we had started doing they did more even. The killing, the burning, the amputations, they did it even more because they had been jailed for life, but since they were helped and they were released so they said they were not going to spare any soul.

  • Now, on this --

  • Then again --

  • Can you allow. On the first day, what was the state of communication amongst the troops within Freetown?

  • In Freetown with whom?

  • Amongst the unit within Freetown?

  • Oh, it was cordial. There was no problem.

  • Did you yourself have a radio at this time?

  • Fine. I made it possible for myself. The day I got there I entered one of the NGO offices and I got one Yaesu radio. So where I was lodged with my security I put on the radio, so I used the communication set and informed Mosquito about everything from the time SAJ Musa entered Rosos. I compiled that information and sent it to him at about 12 o'clock midnight, and from that time every midnight I spoke to Mosquito. He used to monitor the radio and get all the information about everything that was happening in Sierra Leone and what was the contacts. From my radio, Alfred Brown used to come. Mosquito - sorry, Gibril Massaquoi himself was coming and had to send some more information about what had been happening and the discussion by Gullit, that was going on through my radio communication set.

  • Now on this first day that you entered Freetown, was there any communication between the forces - your forces - and Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes, as we entered Freetown we were based and settled, the authorities got settled at State House, they were able to communicate with Sam Bockarie about the situation. Gullit told Sam Bockarie that, "You said we should not enter, but however we have now entered and thanks to God we were able to get State House, Pademba Road and the National Stadium. Our men are still advancing, were still under fighting and we were able to release JS Momoh, Gibril Massaquoi, Hilton Fyle and some other prominent authorities. In response, Massaquoi - I am sorry, Mosquito told Gibril Massaquoi that, "Do as a military man".

  • Can you just pause. Was Mosquito - you said, "Mosquito told Gibril Massaquoi". Who was Mosquito responding to? Who called Mosquito and who was he responding to?

  • I am sorry, Gullit called Mosquito and told him those whom we had released from Pademba Road. In response, Mosquito said Gullit should - Gullit and others should take great care of those people and Gullit told him that they were under safekeeping at State House. Mosquito said Gullit should provide security and take great care of those people, until he tried by all possible means and dispatch them to Kailahun. So, whatever activities that was going on Gullit used to transmit the message to Mosquito. At that time SAJ Musa was dead. And even myself as a radio man I had my personal radio, because it was my responsibility according to Mosquito to give him all detailed information about the Freetown operation. That was what I was doing. Any conversation going on between Mosquito and Gullit I used to monitor that. At times I will be at the radio station and I will get information about that and --

  • Your Honours, can the witness go over the last bit?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat the last part of your answer.

  • Any information that was going around in Freetown either by voice or by messages, that is written messages, I used to monitor that and write it down, and any information that Gullit failed to tell Mosquito that was my responsibility to tell him. And from there I was able to give him details, but when SAJ Musa entered Camp Rosos and what happened around his death and after his death, what actions, why we didn't wait and we entered Freetown. I gave all of these pieces of information to Mosquito.

  • Mr Witness, apart from the prisoners from Pademba Road whom you had taken to State House, were you holding any other persons there at State House?

  • Yes, as we were fighting so we were capturing ECOMOG troops, but for the SLA we didn't have much problems with them because some of them were running from the government and coming to join us with their guns. And for the ECOMOG soldiers, when we captured the ECOMOG we killed them at the front line and those that we would bring to the State House we report them to Gullit and he himself would report to Sam Bockarie. Sam Bockarie would tell him that he had no prison for ECOMOG. No politicians. As a result, those ECOMOG soldiers were killed under the Cotton Tree. That area there were more than ten or 15 ECOMOG corpses and some other areas, so we never spared ECOMOG.

  • Now, you have mentioned that - what was the state of - what was the situation regarding civilians in Freetown when you entered?

  • Oh, it was pathetic. Of course I am a member of the RUF, but it was pathetic, but there was no other way to do. The civilians were suffering. They suffered raping, hard labour, execution, amputation, burning of the property. That was how they were in Freetown. And this was effective when the situation changed, when the military situation changed, that when the ECOMOG had had power over us again all those atrocities that I had mentioned became more rampant.

  • Mr Witness, how long were you at State House? How long did you occupy State House?

  • State House, it was almost a day. Of course, ECOMOG did not drive us there. The air raid was going on. Every two hours we will get a report on the radio that "448". So the 448 always was directed at State House, that ECOMOG had planned to bombard State House because of the massive killing that was going on at Cotton Tree. So, from that point we changed our location. We slept there and the next day we changed our location, but we were beyond State House towards the west. Two days we started retreating.

  • Now, did you have further communications with Sam Bockarie about the situation?

  • Yes, of course. That was our daily activity. Every morning, every afternoon, every evening we would send situation reports, and any time we would send situation reports because of the way ECOMOG was threatening us he would even answer more and say, "Make that area fearful. Go and destroy Kissy Terminal. Go and set road blocks. Go and set road blocks at this and that place; places that are government owned", so ECOMOG would lose - I mean, ECOMOG will - they will block roads. That is what Sam Bockarie was telling us. He just asked that we reinforced him.

  • Mr Bangura, I am sorry to interrupt. I have listened now like three paragraphs into the record. The witness has described the situation of the civilians which you asked him to do so. However, the testimony does not show who was doing these things.

  • Yes, your Honour, I will come to that:

  • Now, you have just mentioned that Sam Bockarie gave an order. Well, let us get this point clear first. Now, I asked you earlier what was the situation with civilians and you said that it was not very good. Can you explain clearly what was - what was happening and who was responsible for what was happening?

  • During this time the RUF fighters, AFRC, including the STF, were burning houses, amputating, looting, killing, raping, setting road blocks, no transportation, no movement. Most of the civilians were indoors.

  • Now, can you say in which locations these activities were - these acts were carried out?

  • Let me say almost all the areas that we occupied from the first day until the last day that we left Freetown, but the worst thing happened in eastern Freetown - the eastern part. From eastern police coming down to the end of Freetown, that was where the worst situation was experienced, because areas like Kissy Terminal I did not too understand the place, but there was fire at that place which made some other areas - some parts of the terminal was destroyed and some houses were burnt down that any street you pass you will see civilians, children, boys and girls, died. Some houses you go there and you see a house on fire, blazing. You will see people coming from upstairs falling from upstairs. That happened in the east.

  • How did you operate in Freetown? How did you move in Freetown? Were you moving - were you in particular groups belonging to one force only, or were you mixed groups?

  • I don't understand that. Please go over it.

  • How were the groups composed, the groups that operated within Freetown?

  • We are all fighters. There was the AFRC, RUF and the STF and each of these groups belonged to certain groups, because anywhere you will see thousands of fighters they must have units. As I stated earlier, from the time we left Koinadugu I said in this group we had one unit which was the - which dominated the RUF group. I am not talking about the AFRC. This group - it was two groups, but one of these two groups dominated the whole group. We called that one Red Lion. Red Lion was a battalion on its own which comprised Komba Gbundema's bodyguards. They formed that unit, but it was RUF. They overwhelmed the Cobra Unit and so all of the RUF fighters fell under Red Lion battalion, but we were all RUF.

  • Now, you did mention that at some point the military situation changed and you said that as this happened you got messages from Sam Bockarie. Is that correct?

  • Yes, all what I am talking happened in 1999 under Sam Bockarie's administration. All what I am talking about we used to get message from Sam Bockarie on a daily basis.

  • When you say the military situation changed, what do you mean?

  • Well, at that time we were not that strong to fight ECOMOG. Their firing power was more than us and so we started to retreat. Up to the time we got to Upgun turntable, we moved from that point and went to Shell Road and at that time the situation had changed against us. ECOMOG was chasing us. That is what I meant by the military situation had changed.

  • What messages or orders did you get from Sam Bockarie in this changed military situation?

  • After the military situation had changed, we received reinforcements of a message which says we should make Freetown more fearful than before. Also we received another message that we should come to Waterloo, we should send troops to meet at Hastings because at that time the other troops that we had left behind us, which was Superman, Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon and some others, had come to Waterloo. So, for them to reinforce us we were to send a team so we should organise ourselves and attack Kossoh Town, together with Superman's group, so that we could clear Kossoh Town where ECOMOG was based on the main road. The troops from Waterloo could join us after that. That was the message that we got.

  • Mr Witness, you said that one of the messages ordered that you should make the area more fearful. At this point, what was - what was this message intended, or what did you understand from this message?

  • Well, what I knew if before we entered Freetown if we had a message that we should make an area fearful it was to destroy, kill, amputate, destroy bridges, set road blocks. That was the meaning of making an area fearful. And in that message he talked about some areas as well and it was not just one message. I spoke about Kissy, Kissy Road, Kissy Terminal and the ferry and some other important areas. He said we should set up road blocks that should delay ECOMOG to clear and maybe that will lead them to reduced attention.

  • Now, you mentioned Kissy Terminal. What was there?

  • Well, what I understand by Kissy Terminal it is a place where they will get oil, petrol, diesel, engine oil. That was where it was refined. That was a major area for Sierra Leone.

  • Did you follow the orders about burning Kissy Terminal?

  • Yes, I went there myself and I saw fire. I saw thick smoke coming from the place and I made sure that the order was implemented.

  • Now following these orders from Sam Bockarie, can you describe the scale of atrocities that occurred after he had passed his orders to make the order more fearful?

  • Now you said that - you already described some of the things that you were doing in Freetown, burning and killing and blocking roads, and because the military situation changed Sam Bockarie sent you a message, or messages, one of which was to make the area more fearful. Did this - in carrying out this order, did it even change the situation regarding the acts that you have just described; the killing and the burning and blocking of roads?

  • This one did not change the situation. The more the burning, the killing, the amputations, the more ECOMOG used to advance. So, these atrocities did not stop ECOMOG from chasing us.

  • Now, why did Sam Bockarie order you to use more terror in Freetown to make the place fearful? Why did he order you to do this?

  • Well, in the first place he said if we did that the international body would intervene and ECOMOG would stop and would be there and maybe they start calling for peace talks. That was what he stated in his message.

  • Now, earlier you said when you were at State House you had 448 messages. Where were these messages coming from?

  • These messages were from Buedu from Sam Bockarie.

  • Now you have mentioned that, in addition to ordering you to make the area fearful, Bockarie told you about another force that was now at Waterloo. Is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • What exactly did he say regarding that force at Waterloo?

  • Well, he said that group that had come to Waterloo, in fact they came as far as Hastings. They were based there. He said those groups we should organise ourselves and send some men so that they in turn would send some men to attack Kossoh Town. He said those groups were a reinforcement for us. They had come to join us to enter Freetown. That was exactly what he told us.

  • It is not so clear when you say you were to send some men and they were to send some men to attack Kossoh Town. Can you clarify that? What exactly were you supposed to do from both sides?

  • Gullit's side, Gullit was to send fighters at a point where they will meet and attack Kossoh Town and Superman, Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon were to also dispatch fighters to go and attack Kossoh Town so they will clear the route, so that the fighters could come and enter Freetown and join Gullit so we could re-attack and regain all the areas we had lost and even to take over - to take all over the city. That was the plan.

  • Now, which forces were at Waterloo at this time?

  • The forces which were at Waterloo were Superman's group, including Morris Kallon and Issa Sesay. That was the group which was at Kono and Koinadugu which led - they all came and joined at Waterloo. According to the plan which we had at Buedu, they had now come and merged. If they had met us there we would have entered Freetown together, we wouldn't have stopped getting Freetown, but our group did not wait.

  • Now, did you send - did Gullit send troops to Kossoh Town as was ordered by Mosquito?

  • What about the troops waiting at Waterloo? Did they advance to Kossoh Town as was the plan?

  • Yes, those men organised themselves. They attacked Kossoh Town at night until daybreak, but they could not get the town. But among that group they had one AFRC strong fighter who was Red Lion - sorry, Red Goat, Rambo Red Goat. He was the only man who could garner up to 15 manpower and they bypassed ECOMOG and came to Freetown and joined us.

  • Now, this fighter who you have just mentioned, Rambo Red Goat, you say he was an SLA and he had 15 manpower, I assume fighters, is that correct, with him?

  • Yes, he came to Freetown with 15 manpower.

  • Now, at the time that he left, or up until the time that he left Waterloo and bypassed ECOMOG positions, who was he fighting under?

  • Well, he was with Superman's group.

  • Now, when this group came into Freetown, did anything happen?

  • Those 15 men that I told you about, they came to Freetown and met us at Kissi Old Road. When they arrived they said from Waterloo they attacked Kossoh Town but they could not succeed, but Rambo, who was Red Lion - sorry, Red Goat, was able to take 15 men to come and join Gullit's group in Freetown, but at that time they met us now on our way going. The day they arrived Gullit passed an order that all those who had motorcycles and vehicles and what you could not - somebody could not carry, let us burn everything. So, everything was put at one place and they were burned. Vehicles and everything was burnt, those that we could not carry. So, when Red Goat Rambo came he said he had not come to return. He said he had come to stay in Freetown. Some men were happy to be with Rambo in Freetown and Gullit himself, who he met there, he gave him the okay to stay. In fact, at that moment only a few of us returned because we were more than 4,000 in Freetown. Most of the people hadn't guns, particularly those who were released from Pademba Road, so most of us, the armed men - a few armed men and a few unarmed men returned to Waterloo. Rambo stayed in Freetown with many other men.

  • Now, amongst the men that stayed in Freetown with Rambo, do you recall any of them that you now remember?

  • Yes, I can recall one name: Rambo Red Goat himself.

  • Your Honours, the witness has called a name that I need clarification on.

  • Could you please repeat the name for the interpreter.

  • Could you go back, Mr Witness?

  • Striker, who was the Red Lion's commander, Red Lion Battalion Commander.

  • And what was the size of the force that you said decided to stay in Freetown with Rambo Red Goat?

  • That number was too much. I cannot recall now.

  • Now, were any orders given to Rambo Red Goat before you pulled out of Freetown?

  • Yes, of course. Rambo was given an order by Gullit.

  • Now, the decision to allow Rambo Red Goat to stay in Freetown, was it discussed at all in any communication with Mosquito?

  • Yes, Mosquito told him that as far as that man has said that he is living there and he is able to get manpower, they should leave and they should come back to Waterloo, reorganise themselves and re-attack Freetown. I want to ease myself.

  • I see. Madam Court Attendant, if you would assist the witness to leave, please.

  • [In the absence of the witness]

  • Your Honour, could I take advantage of the break and just bring to the Court's attention that we have discussed with the Defence and I believe your legal officers are aware that we have a request for a witness TF1-150 to testify on a specific date beginning 18 February and we would ask the Court's permission to schedule him to begin his testimony, if necessary interrupting another witness, on that date because of the schedule of that witness.

  • I was not aware of this application. I do recognise the number and I am aware, from what has been said previously, of the background of this witness. Mr Munyard?

  • Madam President, can I make it plain that the Defence are willing to accommodate the Prosecution in relation to this witness. We understand that he is an academic and that he has commitments. However, I want to make it absolutely clear that this is a one-off case of agreeing to advance the witness in this way. I don't want it to be taken in any sense as a precedent. We are still in discussions with the Prosecution about the foreshortening of the 42 day rule in relation to others, but nothing - and those negotiations so far haven't borne fruit, so nothing that I say in relation to TF1-150 should be taken as in any way laying down a precedent. I am sure that is clear.

  • I understand your position.

  • Could I just clarify one matter: For TF1-150, there is not a 42 day rule issue. That is not the issue. The issue is simply his schedule and interrupting other witnesses.

  • I thought Mr Munyard was making a more general observation in relation to other witnesses. Am I correct, Mr Munyard?

  • You are absolutely correct, Madam President. I wanted to make it plain to the Court that as far as accommodating witnesses is concerned, we are happy with the accommodation of this particular witness and I wanted the Court to know that we are in discussions with the Prosecution to try to accommodate other witnesses to whom the 42 day rule does apply and, as I have indicated at the moment, our offer to accommodate them has not borne fruit. I will say no more than that at the moment.

  • The Bench will accommodate this request for the Prosecution. We note the remarks of the Defence and any other applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

  • [In the presence of the witness]

  • Yes, Mr Bangura, please proceed.

  • Are you all right, Mr Witness?

  • I am all right, thank you.

  • Now, you were at a point where orders had been given to Rambo Red Goat who was going to stay in Freetown, but before that I think I asked you whether any communications were had with Mosquito about Rambo Red Goat staying in Freetown. Do you recall that?

  • Yes.

  • What was the communication about and did - what was the communication about?

  • One thing I would want to start with, it was when they were unable to attack Kossoh Town, or to capture Kossoh Town, Mosquito asked Gullit to try and pull out and, by doing so, when Gullit received Red Goat that was Rambo, Gullit told Mosquito that the men said they are going to stay in Freetown. He said they should leave, but he told them that they should destroy to make the area fearful until they came back and reorganised themselves, but, "Since the time you got the former president and the other prominent people, you try and pull out with them, you bring them to Waterloo so that you can dispatch them to me," Mosquito, "and then we will reorganise and regain Freetown." That was how the communications went on.

  • Do you know what specific orders Gullit gave to Rambo Red Goat before he left him in charge of Freetown?

  • What were the orders?

  • One - when our commanders said that we should make the area fearful, that means we should destroy most of the houses. We should burn down houses, make road blockades, amputate and kill. That was the order that he gave. Also he gave him the order that any politician Rambo knew and saw, he should not spare them and he should not bring any prisoner of war to him, and he should not make any reports on that. That is what he told him. That was what Gullit told Rambo.

  • Now, how long had you been in Freetown before you left?

  • In Freetown, our own group, I can say we spent almost two weeks and then we also left the other groups.

  • Now, you mentioned earlier that one of the men who decided to stay with Rambo Red Goat was Striker, who was of the Red Lion battalion, is that correct?

  • Yes, he also had men who were fighters. They were many and he was the commander for this Red Lion battalion and since he said he should leave, that meant that the majority of his fighters who were with him, when he was leaving they all left with him.

  • Now, when you say leaving can you clarify what you mean?

  • What I mean, when he said he was leaving it meant that he was leaving with Red Lion, or I mean Red Lion would go from Freetown. It means all the fighters who were with him were going to stay in Freetown.

  • Mr Witness, do you mean that Rambo Red Goat and Striker were leaving Freetown to go somewhere else?

  • No, what I am saying, Rambo, Striker and the manpower who was behind him they all stayed in Freetown. We left them in Freetown and then we came to Waterloo.

  • Thank you. Now, following the orders which were given to Rambo Red Goat by Gullit, do you know what happened as you left Freetown?

  • Yes, some of the things that happened in Freetown, in the first place we never left them behind with radio communication sets, but anything that happened we used to listen to commercial radio and even the BBC media and they reported on activities, atrocities, that took place in Freetown. They used to talk on that.

  • Were you able to gather what was happening in Freetown as you left?

  • Yes, most of the information, though not all, but we were able to gather them over the media that those were radios from Freetown. We got information from them that the rebels in Freetown were amputating civilians, they were raping, they were burning down houses, they were making road blockades, they were killing. Those were some of the things that were on the media and also they abducted civilians. They forced them to follow them to the jungle. All those informations we got on the media.

  • Now, in what area in Freetown did you leave the group that we are talking about: Rambo Red Goat, Striker and the others? In what part of Freetown did you leave them as you moved out?

  • This group we left them behind around Texaco. That is around Old Road area and that is the eastern part of Freetown.

  • Now, can you help the Court with which part of the east in Freetown Texaco was?

  • Texaco is in front of this area when coming from the provinces from Waterloo, or when coming from Kossoh Town trying to enter Freetown from Waterloo, that is when you are entering the eastern part of Freetown and Texaco is on the main new highway entering the city. Texaco is a place where the refugees from Liberia were encamped and Texaco is also called Clay Factory. Opposite there you can see a big pole in the centre of a compound. That was where they used to make clay and at present they are using it as a new park in Freetown.

  • Now, you mentioned earlier that when you left Rosos, coming down to Freetown, the head of the group was O-Five that left - Koinadugu, sorry, my error. When you left Koinadugu, the head of the group was O-Five. Was he with you up until this time in Freetown?

  • Yes, sir. O-Five was with us since the time we started from Koinadugu, Rosos, Freetown and even when we returned to Waterloo.

  • Was he in your group, in the group that returned to Waterloo?

  • Yes, he was among the group when we returned to Waterloo.

  • Now, earlier you mentioned that there were troops at Waterloo who Sam Bockarie had ordered to fight their way through Kossoh and join you in Freetown, is that correct?

  • What was the composition of that group?

  • This group was an AFRC/RUF, including STF. Some of them were based at Koinadugu and some based in Kono.

  • And who were the commanders with this group that was at Waterloo?

  • The main commanders amongst this group was Issa Sesay, Dennis Mingo, alias Superman, Morris Kallon, Rambo, RUF Rambo. They were the main commanders.

  • Now, you had also said that the orders from Sam Bockarie was for Gullit to go back to Waterloo and regroup. What was the purpose of going to regroup at Waterloo?

  • Well, the purpose of going back to Waterloo and regroup was to come back and re-attack Freetown. That was the purpose.

  • Did you get to Waterloo?

  • Yes, we came to Waterloo.

  • Did anything happen when you got there?

  • Yes, yes, after we got to Waterloo something happened. They held a meeting and we were able to reorganise to re-attack Kossoh Town and we attacked twice, but we couldn't make it.

  • Mr Witness, during - and did anything happen after that?

  • During this, after the attack when we realised we couldn't make it, we were there for some time and then some people decided to retreat and while Rambo was in Freetown, Red Goat, the Guinean troops moved from Guinea. They forced their way into Freetown and they started attacking them. By then they came and attacked us at Waterloo. Then we now left Waterloo and we were now around Four Mile, Six Mile, up to Songo Junction going towards Masiaka. That is area where we were. After some days, Rambo Red Goat again he started retreating. They withdrew all their men from Freetown.

  • Mr Witness, let me take you back. I am checking to see if there are any spellings to help with. I think they have all been spelled before.

    Let me take you back to Freetown briefly. During the period that you stayed in Freetown, which you said was about two weeks, what was the state of communication amongst the forces, that is the combined forces not only from within Freetown, but with your other locations outside Freetown?

  • Well, I have said this before. I said the communication was cordial with people outside Freetown, like, for example, Superman, Morris Kallon, Issa Sesay and even our headquarter station in Buedu, which is Sam Bockarie, alias Mosquito.

  • Now, before you entered Freetown, in fact, you had established that there were various other forces moving towards Freetown, various other groups, is that correct, from different locations, is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • And was there a communication flow among the various groups that were advancing towards Freetown?

  • During the time of SAJ Musa, no, I never knew about that. It was after SAJ Musa's death that I was able to know that communication started flowing between these groups and the ones that we left behind, which is Superman, Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon.

  • Your Honours, at this stage I would like the witness to be shown the second of the two maps that were provided to the Court. That is the digits ending 0183:

  • Mr Witness, do you see the map in front of you?

  • Yes, I have seen it.

  • At the top there can you read what is written there?

  • Yes, "AFRC/RUF primary radio locations - January 1999, as indicated by TF1-360."

  • Now, what does this map tell us?

  • This map is telling us about the areas and during this time in 1999 the major areas where they were deployed, this is what this map is indicating.

  • Can you guide us through those areas where you were deployed during the period that we are discussing?

  • Number 1, I will start from there, right, which is Buedu, the eastern part. That was a place where Mosquito was based, which was our headquarters, and Koidu-Sefadu, which was in the Kono District, you can see it by the right. There also is the eastern part of Freetown and this area was an area where Superman came from before he came to the area that I have spoken about. Here is Binkolo, Bombali District, which is the northern part of Freetown. This was another station that we controlled under Superman.

  • Let me pause you. Did you say that Koidu was in the eastern part of Freetown?

  • No, I am talking about - I think you said I should have to describe the areas. I started from the east of Sierra Leone. I am talking about the whole of Sierra Leone. I have not come to Freetown as yet.

  • Can you just simply say where Koidu is?

  • Well, that is where I am pointing at [indicated]. It is written Koidu, or Sefadu.

  • In what part of the country?

  • It is in the part - eastern part of the country. Go ahead.

  • Continue from there, please.

  • From here you have the centre of the map where you can see Makeni and very close to there you can see Binkolo. Makeni is in the northern part of the country. It was another headquarters of the RUF when the troops were moving. From there we are going towards the left now. We come to the next point, you can see Port Loko District and it is pointing at Lunsar. Lunsar was Superman's base after all of those areas were captured. Then you can see we come to the Western Area of Sierra Leone on the map. You see Freetown itself. We had a radio, a point. Then we come to Hastings, or Waterloo. Waterloo was one of the other bases where Superman, Morris Kallon, Issa Sesay and some others were based and in this Freetown, it was Gullit who was there and his own station.

  • You have said that these are bases that were occupied by the AFRC/RUF forces in January 1999. Can you tell us who - which commanders were operating within these locations at this time?

  • Oh, yes. This 1999, number 1 I will start with, here Buedu, it was Mosquito who was there as commander and it was our headquarters in Kailahun District. Then here, Koidu-Sefadu, was Morris Kallon who was there and that was the other High Command when Superman left. And Binkolo that I am pointing out [indicated], Binkolo was a place - I mean, sorry, Makeni, under which you have Binkolo, was a place where Superman - it was Superman's headquarters also and with another radio station and then here Lunsar. Lunsar was Superman's base also with a radio station, but Makeni was a combined headquarters where Superman, Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon this time round. And then Hastings, Hastings, Waterloo or Hastings, all these commanders who move from there later came and based here. So, this was a reinforcement ground to reinforce Freetown. Here, now in Freetown, was the command ground of Gullit. He was there. This is what I can tell you about this map.

  • These positions are indications which you made to the Prosecution during your interviews, is that correct?

  • Yes, I explained this to the Prosecution about these main areas.

  • Thank you.

  • Can we just clarify that, excuse me, because I think the last map it was stated that it was done in the session when you spoke with the witness before he testified. Is this connected to one of his interviews, or is this connected to the rehearsal session you did?

  • This map, the indications on it came out of interviews with the witness prior to his testimony.

  • So that was with yourself, yes?

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. Your Honours, I respectfully ask that the document be marked for identification.

  • The map headed "AFRC/RUF primary radio locations - January 1999" is marked for identification MFI-46.

  • Mr Witness, you have said that you regrouped at Waterloo and attacked Kossoh, is that correct?

  • This attack was unsuccessful, is that correct?

  • Which groups were composed of your - of the group that attacked Kossoh?

  • Gullit from Freetown, his group was in there, Superman's group, Morris Kallon's group, Issa Sesay's group, they were all amongst that attack.

  • And following the failure of this attack on Kossoh Town, did you do anything?

  • During this time we couldn't do anything again. We didn't carry out any attack to my knowledge.

  • Did you go anywhere when you failed to take Kossoh?

  • Yes, some men were now retreating, some men were going to base in Makeni, Lunsar, Masiaka and I also found my way out to Waterloo and I spent a few days and then I started retreating. Little by little I got to Masiaka and some other days later I found myself in Makeni and then later returned to Lunsar and established myself there with Superman.

  • Now, what about the group that was left in Freetown?

  • Those groups who had stayed in Freetown, I was now on my way. I understood later that Rambo Red Goat, who had stayed in Freetown, had retreated and he has joined the other men in Waterloo. After Waterloo, Four Mile/Six Mile where they were, they later came and spread out at Masiaka.

  • Now, before most of the groups retreated from Waterloo, or just before that, do you know in what manner this group that remained in Freetown retreated? How did they get out of Freetown?

  • Oh, yes, because they didn't use the main road. They jumped into the bush, they used the bush to come to Waterloo until they came down to Waterloo. They used the bush. The same way we managed our ways to Waterloo was the same way they did to Waterloo from Freetown.

  • Now, you have said that when you left that group in Freetown you did not have communication with them, but you monitored commercial radio and you learnt of some of the things they were doing in Freetown, is that correct?

  • Now, what did you learn from the commercial radio about the activities in Freetown?

  • Well, they were reporting on the radio that the juntas were in Freetown, they were raping women, they were amputating civilians, they were killing, they were burning down houses, they were looting properties. That was what they were saying on the radio and, therefore, all the people who were in that area, that is the eastern part of the area, they should move from there and come to the centre of the town.

  • Now, apart from hearing over the radio about what was happening, did you yourselves, as you moved out of Freetown, observe anything about Freetown?

  • Yes, the jets used to come and bombard whilst Rambo was going along burning. We saw smoke of the air whilst we were leaving Freetown.

  • Now, this group when they eventually left Freetown, could you describe their composition as they left Freetown?

  • Rambo was amongst that group as commander and also the Red Lion battalion was there, but when they came I didn't see them again with my naked eyes, but I only heard the radio communication that the men who were in Freetown, they have retreated and they have joined with those on the main highway towards Waterloo to Masiaka.

  • Was the group comprised only of combatants?

  • These groups, whilst they were retreating they abducted civilians from Freetown. They brought them. They carried their loads. They were using them as wives also. The men were carrying their loads. That is their properties they had looted from civilians in Freetown and the men were using the women as bush wives.

  • Now, before most of these groups retreated from Waterloo, was there any plan about the retreat from Waterloo?

  • Was there any meeting in Waterloo before most of the groups retreated beyond Waterloo?

  • I can't recall again, but the first day we got to Waterloo we held a meeting to re-attack. After that meeting I can't remember we had another meeting again.

  • Were there any orders at this time, after the failure of the attack on Kossoh, about what to do?

  • Oh, yes. The only order I can talk about for now was the order of dispatching the former president and the names that I had given that were taken from Pademba Road. That was the first order that I can recall for now, but as time goes on maybe I will be able to tell you more.

  • Now, these prisoners that you have mentioned that were released from Pademba Road, the former president, the broadcaster, were they taken anywhere?

  • Oh, yes. Those people, they took them directly to Makeni. That is where Gullit took them. They were there until some of us reached there, because when I got to Makeni I used to see the former president. The other day I can recall when they had left Foday Sankoh, the former President JS Momoh attempted to escape and he was recaptured at the border. They brought him to Makeni. Foday Sankoh was there by then. After they had released Foday Sankoh, he came to visit the RUF. He told them that they should release him. He said he will take him to Freetown for him to stay there. He said nobody should do anything to him. So, he took JS Momoh and took him to Freetown. I don't know what happened there later.

  • What about Hilton Fyle, the radio broadcaster? Do you know what happened to him after he was taken to Makeni?

  • Not - I don't know all that happened at that point to Hilton Fyle. I don't know what actually happened to him in Makeni.

  • Mr Bangura, I am sorry to interrupt again. This witness keeps referring to "they said this" and "they said that" and I am not sure who "they" are? All these orders that you have been asking him about, there is no indication where the orders came from, or who said what to whom.

  • I will get him to clarify, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, I have to take you back to a few areas that we have already covered. I believe I asked about whether any order was given before you left Waterloo and you said the only order you remembered was about the prisoners. Now, who gave that order?

  • It was Sam Bockarie. In fact, after we had released them they were no longer prisoners. They were part of us because they were arrested for the purpose of RUF, so we never used to call them prisoners again. We called them brothers. I mean, Sam Bockarie even gave orders for them to be carried to Makeni for their safety and after that I can recall now about Hilton Fyle, that Sam Bockarie requested for him to be taken to Buedu. JS Momoh, he stayed in Makeni because Makeni was very close to his village, which is Binkolo.

  • Now, who did Sam Bockarie order to take Hilton Fyle to Buedu?

  • It was Issa Sesay.

  • And was that order complied with?

  • Now, you yourself, you said you ended up at Makeni and how long did you stay in Makeni?

  • Well, I was at that time in Makeni in 1990 - Makeni, Lunsar, Kono, I was now there 1990 up to the time of disarmament and all this time I am talking about it was under Mosquito's administration. RUF ran administration under different leaderships, but they were all under the RUF. When, or during Sankoh's administration I have spoken on that and this time now I am talking about was Sam Bockarie's administration up to the time he resigned from the RUF and then we will come to Issa, and all of those times I was in Makeni and I used it as my own base, but sometimes I went on trips and I would come to Lunsar for some days and then I will move from there. Then when the diamond business re-established effectively in Kono, and that was under Issa's administration, I went to Kono up to the time of disarmament.

  • Now, you have mentioned the - you have mentioned two different leaders and their tenure over the RUF. You mentioned Sam Bockarie and now you have mentioned Issa Sesay. When was there a change of leadership between these two men?

  • All of these times I am talking about it was the tenure of Sam Bockarie's administration and then when Sam Bockarie resigned, in fact he wrote a message to the effect, Foday Sankoh appointed Issa as the field commander, or commander for the RUF, because he was on the peace process and Foday Sankoh said because he is now engaged with the peace process they said he should stay on the ground as overall commander in my absence, because by then Issa was in Kono, Sankoh was in Freetown.

  • Mr Witness, the question that the counsel asked was when was there a change in this administration. You haven't answered that question.

  • Sorry, it was in 1999, but I cannot be able to say the date, or the time.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, I am mindful of the time.

  • Before we adjourn, the witness mentioned something about Issa being appointed as something commander. Was that free commander? Was that the word, free commander?

  • I see it came up as free commander.

  • Field commander.

  • As it is now the lunchtime adjournment, we will rise and resume at 2.30.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Please adjourn Court.

  • [Lunch break taken at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Good afternoon. Mr Bangura, I note that Mr Koumjian is not at the bar.

  • That is so, your Honour.

  • Very well. I will note the change of appearance.

  • Good afternoon, Mr Witness.

  • Good afternoon, sir.

  • We shall continue with your evidence-in-chief and hopefully we will be done not too long from now. Now I would like to mop up a few areas where we have come from already and they largely relate to the situation in Freetown. Now first of all I would like you to clarify for the Court, you mentioned that Rambo who came across ECOMOG positions in Kossoh and joined you in Freetown was called Rambo Red Goat, is that correct?

  • Yes.

  • Earlier in your evidence yesterday I believe you mentioned another Rambo as we were looking through the list of names in one of the documents I showed you. Is that correct?

  • Now are they one and the same person?

  • No, they are not the same person and they did not even belong to the same group.

  • Now in relation to the Freetown situation which we have discussed this morning which of these two was present in Freetown?

  • It was the one we called Rambo Red Goat.

  • And just for clarification, the other Rambo is - what is his own full name?

  • The one I'm referring to - referring to Rambo Red Goat, I don't know any other name for him.

  • Yes, that's fine. The other one who was not in Freetown, what's his own full name?

  • The one that did not come to Freetown was RUF Rambo, we called him Premo.

  • Your Honours, can the witness speak up a bit.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to speak a little louder and perhaps if you could get a little closer to the microphone.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness:

  • Mr Witness, during the Freetown invasion, you call it an invasion here, you mentioned that Gibril Massaquoi was released from Pademba Road prison and he was with the fighting forces in Freetown. Is that correct?

  • Yes, that is correct.

  • Do you recall the role that he played with these forces with you during the Freetown operation?

  • Yes, Gibril Massaquoi, the role that I saw him playing, he also contributed in organising the fighting forces to go and fight in Freetown and he was also involved in meetings which they held during the AFRC and RUF were in Freetown with Gullit, Bazzy, Five-Five and others.

  • Now do you know whether he was in communication with Buedu?

  • Yes, he used to send informations. At times he will send information to where I was. He used to communicate directly with Sam Bockarie in Buedu.

  • And when he communicated with Sam Bockarie in Buedu what would be the subject of these communications?

  • Well, he reported on military situations in Freetown and also gave information about the arrangements which they were doing in Freetown. That is the meetings he, Gullit and others were holding in Freetown.

  • Do you know whether any orders were given to Gibril Massaquoi specifically by Sam Bockarie during this period?

  • No, I can't recall for now.

  • Thank you. Now also within Freetown during the period of the attack do you recall whether any communication was going on with other commanders who were not within Freetown, this is apart from Sam Bockarie?

  • Yes. After our group had entered into Freetown there was communication with Superman and Gullit and there was communication between Issa Sesay, Gullit, Five-Five and others.

  • Now who was communicating with who?

  • Well, sometimes Gullit was talking to Dennis Mingo, who was Superman, in respect of the situations there and also Issa Sesay. Gullit used to talk to Issa Sesay and even Five-Five, Bazzy and others. Bazzy was talking to Issa Sesay and Superman.

  • You have mentioned that one of the groups that entered Freetown as part of the big force was a group that served as the security to Superman. Is that correct?

  • Just for clarity what was the name of that group again?

  • It was part of Superman's bodyguards, Cobra Unit.

  • And this Cobra Unit, were they part of a bigger force within Freetown?

  • Which force were they a part of?

  • Well, they were all under Red Lion Battalion.

  • But Red Lion Battalion was a group which was an RUF group as well, but these names were units because of their bodyguards that were attached to commanders.

  • Thank you. Do you know whether the men who belonged to the Cobra Unit as well as the Red Lion Battalion which was the big umbrella unit, whether they communicated at all to their unit commander Superman?

  • Yes. Like for examples Superman's bodyguard who was a senior man among the bodyguards who Superman contributed for this mission, he was --

  • Your Honours, the witness has called a name that I can't recall.

  • Mr Witness, please, you mentioned a name, the interpreter did not hear it very well. Can you repeat it, please.

  • Mr Witness, can you take that again. The question was whether there was any communication from this unit, from this group to their commander Superman?

  • Yes. There was communication between the unit and Superman who was the commander.

  • Who was communicating from this unit to Superman?

  • From this Cobra Unit to Superman it was CY because CY was the senior man among the bodyguard unit which Superman contributed for this particular mission.

  • Now did CY carry a rank?

  • Yes, CY went up to the rank of captain.

  • Thank you. Now can you recall what was the subject of the communications that CY had with Superman?

  • Yes. CY used to tell Superman about the military situation in Freetown and from Freetown, from the time SAJ Musa joined Camp Rosos until his death and we entered Freetown and the military situation in Freetown, CY used to report that to Superman.

  • Mr Bangura, can I take it CY are just the initials C-Y?

  • I need to clarify this with the witness, your Honour:

  • Mr Witness, you have said that the leader of Superman's - rather his senior bodyguard who was head of the unit in Freetown was called CY. Now is that his name or are those initials?

  • Well, that is the name I know for him.

  • But you are not able to tell whether these were just initials, are you?

  • Your Honours, in that case we will, I suggest, treat it as initials.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura.

  • I'm not sure I did ask you about the subject of communications between CY and Superman?

  • Well, I have said it, that he was reporting on - when SAJ Musa joined us at Rosos camp, then also when we got to Freetown what the military situation was like, CY used to report all of these to Freetown and also the casualties that their unit incurred. He reported all about this.

  • Thank you. Mr Witness, just one last point on Freetown. You have testified before that you would get radio messages whenever Sam Bockarie travelled to Liberia to secure arms and ammunition, he would send a message when he was about to leave and you would get a message when we came back to tell you what he had come with. During the period of the Freetown invasion did you get any such message about movement by Sam Bockarie?

  • Please repeat that question.

  • Was there any message from Buedu or from any other source about movements of Sam Bockarie during the Freetown invasion, during the period you were in Freetown?

  • No, I did not get information at that time because I explained that the time we were moving towards Freetown I didn't have access to communication. Only that when - it was only after SAJ Musa died that I had access to communication, but I don't have information about that.

  • Thank you. Now you have testified that the leadership of the RUF changed in 1999 and Issa Sesay became the RUF leader. Is that correct?

  • And you yourself, you said you were based in Makeni at that time. Well, most of the period after the Freetown invasion. Is that correct?

  • And who were you attached to as an operator during that period?

  • This time I was attached to Superman.

  • Now Sam Bockarie when he was the leader of the RUF was based in Buedu. Is that correct?

  • Yes, he was based in Buedu.

  • Now what was the position in your other areas of deployment at this time just after the Freetown invasion? You had deployments in other parts of the country up until the time you attacked Freetown and this attack - after two weeks or so you came back, you retreated, some of you were based in Makeni. What about the other areas that were under your occupation before you moved down to Freetown?

  • Well, all the areas that were under our control, they were still under our control. Even after we retreated from Freetown they were still under our control.

  • Now can we focus on - one of those areas is Kono, Koidu. Is that correct?

  • Yes. Kono was under our control.

  • Now can we focus on Koidu after the Freetown invasion. What was happening in Koidu after the invasion?

  • Just after the Freetown invasion when majority had retreated to Makeni some were based in Kono. What we were doing mostly, because at that time we were not engaged in fighting, was diamond mining. We were mining diamonds.

  • And what was the - what was it all focused on, the proceeds of the diamonds that you were mining, what was the whole purpose for which you were mining those diamonds?

  • You've actually asked two different questions there, Mr Bangura.

  • Sorry, your Honour.

  • There's a difference between purpose and proceeds.

  • I'm sorry, your Honours. I strike that:

  • What was the focus of the mining during this period?

  • Well, from the beginning up to this time when we were mining the main reason why we were mining was for us to have more defensive arms and ammunition from Mr Taylor, because the moment our leader went for peace it was at that time that he told us that in times of peace we should prepare for war, so when you go for peace talks you should always be prepared for war. So as a result he organised the miners to mine for diamonds. But before mining for diamonds we would have to arrange the conditions. So they started calling the civilians to mine the diamonds.

  • Now who arranged the mining, as you said the mining was arranged, who arranged the conditions?

  • From the beginning when Mosquito had not gone yet he sent an instruction to Issa Sesay. Issa Sesay returned and based in Kono. So Issa Sesay arranged - rearranged for the mining to be more effective.

    But before that we had a message, RUF heard a message from Sam Bockarie saying that Charles Taylor was going to send white people to come and inspect Kono and the airfield so that they could support the mining and we would do effective mining. Supporting, they said they would send machines like Caterpillar and any other machine that we would use for the mining.

    And it got to a point when two white men came from Buedu. They were escorted by RUF security forces. They just came and took snapshots at the mining field and took snapshots of the old mining machines. According to them, according to the message we received, Charles Taylor had sent them from Liberia. They just came and took snapshots and wrote all the things that we would need, machines, for the mining and they returned the following day.

  • Now during this period that we are talking about did you continue to get any supplies from the proceeds of the mining?

  • Yes. We used to have ammunitions, but it was not frequent, but our ammo dump was only in Buedu because there was no fighting around there. So when ammunition would come Mosquito would keep it at Buedu. But again the mining, we initially did it with our hands, we didn't use machines, but at this point in time we started using machines.

  • The two white men who came from Liberia to Buedu and then to Koidu, did you know their names?

  • No, I can't recall their names again.

  • Now you said the leadership changed in 1999. After the change of leadership where was Issa Sesay settled as head of the RUF?

  • When the leadership changed that was from the time when Mosquito wrote a letter - I mean a message to all RUF that he was no longer a member. So at that time Foday Sankoh had the chance and allowed Issa to be based in Kono. So Issa was in Mosquito's former position, Sam Bockarie, but he was based in Kono then.

  • And during the leadership of Issa Sesay did the mining continue?

  • During Issa Sesay's time mining was more effective than before because at that time we were using Caterpillar and other machines to do the mining.

  • Now who was actually doing the mining, who were involved in the mining exercise itself?

  • Mostly those who were doing the mining were civilians. They were doing the mining. And also if you the fighter, if you could get a civilian just according to the list that we looked at from yesterday, if you have a civilian manpower you could use them, they will get gravel for you, then you will give a government pile and the one that the civilians would wash for you, you would always be responsible to feed them. Then there was another group who were civilians, they were then permanently for the government. They would not divide diamonds or the gravel, they were just there to mine without payment.

  • Now can you be a little more clear on the distribution of the gravel. You said - you talked about a government pile but it's not very clear. Can you explain exactly what happened?

  • Well, if you were a good or strong commander, if you had civilians who would get gravel for you, the RUF government, AFRC, they would go and divide it into two. You the officer who had your civilians who got this gravel, you have one part and the government would have one part of the gravel. But the government of the RUF would again look into it. The gravel that was given to you, they would provide security for that to be washed. If they got any big diamond they would take that from you. But even apart from that, if you see any big diamond you should report to the RUF office in Lebanon, the RUF government should buy that diamond from you, whether it was a big diamond or not. And the way they bought it, they did not do it to your satisfaction, they would just give you any amount that the government of RUF wanted to give to you. That was how it went on.

  • Now can you describe the condition of the civilians who were engaged in this mining at this time?

  • This early time of the mining, civilians had no access to money or any percentage at the early stage. But as time went by civilians had access to mine and have gravel on their own. But they themselves, when they would be washing the gravel, the government would provide security for them. If you don't have somebody who will talk on your behalf, even if you had a diamond which would be as big as your head you would not benefit anything from it. Or sometimes when civilians would pack their gravel, if their gravel is much and the information got to Issa Sesay he would pass an order for - to arrest the gravel and ask the civilians to move out of the place and he would send machine to wash the gravel.

  • Your Honours, can the witness repeat his last answer?

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter needs you to repeat the last part only of your answer. I think start, "Sometimes when civilians would pack their gravel". Pick up from there, please.

  • Sometimes when civilians would pack their gravels Issa Sesay will send security forces to go, take the gravel forcefully and he will send a machine to wash it for government. But at that time in Kono people got diamonds, many of them, as if it was not difficult to get diamonds. So that made civilians to start running away from Kono. They were going to other areas to fend for their living.

    Even at the early stage during the Issa Sesay regime we had a big container at the MP office and MP office was a very big house, those who would go and mine this diamond for government, for them not to escape, after work he would pass an order for them to be put into that container and they would lock the house until the following day and the food that they used to give to them was not sufficient.

  • Mr Witness, what happened to the diamonds that were produced at this time?

  • Well, this time that I'm talking about, the diamonds that Issa Sesay gathered from the beginning of Issa Sesay's administration, Gibril Massaquoi used to go and collect it and bring it to Freetown at this stage until the UN problem happened. That was the time the RUF arrested the UN personnel. From the time Mosquito left the RUF until the time RUF arrested the UN Issa was sending diamonds to Mr Sankoh in Freetown. But when Mr Sankoh was arrested in the May 6th incident in Freetown all the diamonds we used to get from that May 6th up until the time of the final disarmament in Sierra Leone, all the diamonds were going to Mr Taylor.

  • And when you say up until the time of final disarmament what time was that?

  • If I don't forget I think it was 2001, the disarmament. I think so, 2001.

  • Mr Bangura, this May 6th, is there a year to this date, the May 6th incident?

  • It was the year 2000. May 6th 2000.

  • Now you said from May 6th through to disarmament the proceeds of diamonds were - diamonds were taken by Issa Sesay to Mr Taylor in Liberia. How frequent were these trips to Liberia?

  • This was happening every two weeks, because the diamonds we were mining, we used to have it now more than before because at this point we had machines and Issa started going to Liberia and he was even bringing vehicles from Mr Taylor. Any time he would bring these vehicles he would call us and say, "I've brought one or two vehicles from Mr Taylor, Mr Taylor donated this" and at the same time he would keep the diamonds. He said Mr Taylor was storing the diamond for any time Sankoh would be released. So that would be the time when he would report the diamonds to Sankoh. He said that was what Mr Taylor said. He would bring documents to the effect that they would read that to us, we would see the number of diamonds, the date and time that he left