MONROVIA – The first witness took the stand on Tuesday looking very sad, he explained to the court why he appeared that way.
By Forgbe Emma Kloh, with New Narratives
“Today is my birthday and I am about to give a reflection of something that happened many years ago which changed my life,” said “Civilian 17.”
Civilian 17 told appeal hearings in Monrovia for Gibril Massaquoi, a former commander of the Revolutionary Front (RUF) that his wife was raped and killed along with six other women on Massaquoi’s orders.
He also his aunt was among the civilians that were burnt in the house in Kamatahun, Lofa county, as alleged by other witnesses in these proceedings.
The witness said he had gone in search of food and that when he returned, he was told by the people in the town that his wife and six other women were taken by the soldiers to a blacksmith shop in the town.
He said out of bravery, he went to beg for the release of his wife, he was when he was severely beaten by the RUF soldiers.
Civilian 17 also alleged that a man was killed in his presence.
“He was accused of being part of the LURD rebels, said Civilian 17. “His heart was given to a woman cook but she could not continue because her hands were shaken out of fear, Massaquoi the ordered Zizar Marzah to do the butchering, something which he did”.
“Civilian 35,” Tuesday’s other witness corroborated Civilian 17’s allegations of the man’s butchering.
“The man they brought from the bush was executed Infront of us on the orders of Gibril,” said Civilian 17. “And a lady was given his heart cook for them.”
He also reflected on another incident, which he said was very traumatic for him.
“It was the border point between Kolahun and Sierra Leone, there was a counterargument between the RUF soldiers due to a pregnant woman, few argued that it was a girl the lady was carrying in her belle while the others argued that it was a boy, to confirm their argument, they splatted the pregnant lady stomach.”
Massaquoi has denied his charges.
The hearings continue on Thursday.