Massacre Survivor Supports Lawsuit Against Liberian In The U.S.
Monrovia – A survivor of the 1990 the Lutheran Church Massacre has supported decision by four other victims to file a lawsuit against Moses Thomas, a Liberian restauranteur living in South West Philadelphia.
Report by Willie N. Tokpah – [email protected]
Speaking with FrontPageAfrica Wednesday via mobile phone, Marcus Quoigoah said the decision is a smart way of ensuring that perpetrators associated with the massacre are brought to justice.
“Our own stand as survivors of the massacre is to stand with them to know that, though they may be far from us but in ideology and feelings, we are still the same.
We are joining our colleagues, they are in America and we are in Liberia because we been frustrated and reduce to mere beggars, nobody wants to hear about survivors,” Quoigoah said.
Recently the four victims of the 1990 Lutheran Church Massacre filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Moses Thomas, a Liberian restauranteur living in South West Philadelphia.
The case alleges that Thomas, then Colonel and commander of the elite Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SATU) within the Armed Forces of Liberia under President Samuel Doe, directed an attack on the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church compound in Monrovia.
The church compound was being used as a Red Cross aid shelter for 2,000 unarmed men, women, and children seeking refuge from fighting in Monrovia.
“Over the course of several hours, 600 people, primarily from the Mano and Gio tribes, were shot and hacked to death,” according to the suit filed by the four victims – all Liberian citizens, living in Liberia.
But Mr. Quoigoah who is living in Liberia said, it was regretful to note that some perpetrators of the massacre are still moving freely in and outside Liberia without being brought to justice.
According to him, survivors under the banner, Lutheran Massacre Association of Liberia has been pursuing means to ensure that justice is accorded them but finance and lack of interest remains and a major setback to their plight.
One of the major issues he stressed was the need for medical reparation for survivors, which came out of discussions between survivors and government following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearing in 2008.
Quoigoah said, at that hearing, survivors were assured of a possible dialogue between they and perpetrators of the civil era but to no avail.
He made specific reference to former House Speaker George Dweh who according to him was linked to the massacre but denied his involvement.
“Unfortunately after the hearing, we did not see any of them, only for one of those accused, former Speaker in the Gyude Bryant regime, George Dweh to take a kind of deceptive posture”
During the TRC Hearing, former Speaker Dweh told Liberians that he did not participated in the Lutheran Church Massacre, but named an ex-general, Tilly as the frontliner behind the massacre.
It was reported that security personnel from the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, SATU directed attacks on the St. Peter Lutheran Church, located on 14 Street, Sinkor, alleging that arm men were in the midst of people seeking refuge at the compound.
“Frankly speaking, I couldn’t recognize anyone in particular especially at my age. 10 years old, but I can vividly record every event/ atrocities carried on that night where I was.
I was not tortured, but was shot on my right leg upper my knee and I’m still carrying that wound/scar up to present.”
“Further, I witnessed women and children been asked by soldiers to stand if still alive to be taken to hospital because according to one of the soldiers they were so sorry for what has happened.”
“In an attempt to stand believing what that born murderer had said, only to see them using cutlasses chopping people off on their heads and other parts of their bodies with remarks that “we will kill all of your and not one will live….since gun can kill these rebels, cutlawill kill them…”
Can you imagine that…?
My accounts are with the TRC when I testified, the St. Peter Lutheran Massacre Survivor explained.
Quoigoah further believes it would be important that justice be accorded not only to the four victims who file the lawsuit against the then Cornel, Moses Thomas, but also all survivors of the St. Peter Lutheran Massacre.
“As I speak to you, I do not only have a physical bullet marks on my legs but there are other survivors, who have real scarfs that need quick medical attention.
Rufus Scott and Linda Yormie are two survivors who is still carrying bullets in their legs and let people know that there are people in Liberia crying for justice and was yet to come, Quoigoah lamented “
Since they were shot in 1990, Rufus and Linda are reported to be faced with serious problems as a result of broken bones resulting from the massacre.
Quoigoah also maintained that some of these survivors can no longer move about their normal basis due to broken bones in their legs.
Meanwhile Quoigoah is calling on humanitarians in and outside Liberia to help survivors of the Lutheran Massacre get medical attention.