Home Governance War Crimes Court Before 2023 Elections? …As U.S Seeks Justice For Victims of 70 Massacres, Others In Liberia

War Crimes Court Before 2023 Elections? …As U.S Seeks Justice For Victims of 70 Massacres, Others In Liberia

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: As hallmark of Liberia’s bloody civil war which broke out on December 24, 1989, it appears that the days are numbered for all those suspected to be principally responsible for the killings of thousands of innocent citizens and residents by various former warring factions which primarily targeted civilians and were blamed for widespread massacres, systematic and unbridled human rights abuses, war crimes, among others.

Indeed, the prosecution of Liberia’s ex-warlords and their foot-soldiers appears to be on the horizon as the days of impunity are gradually but surely giving way to the administration of justice with a chain of local and influential global partners fully backing the quest for the speedy establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.

The defunct Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) listed 116 alleged “War Perpetrators” including Nimba County’s popular, powerful, and flamboyant Senator, Prince Yormie Johnson, alias “PYJ,” and Grand Gedeh County’s incumbent Representative in the Lower House of Liberia’s bicameral Legislature who is also former Minister of Education, Dr. George S. Boley; already detained war crimes convict, Charles Ghankay Taylor; Alhaji G.V. Kromah (late) Sekou Damate Konneh, and many others as warlords with the greatest responsibility for the bloody Liberian civil war in which an estimated 250,000 persons, predominately women, children, and the elderly were killed and millions others internally and externally displaced.

During the war days, Prince Yormie Johnson, led the erstwhile warring faction, styled: Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), as General and Field-Marshall while Dr. Boley headed a Monrovia-based armed warring faction, styled: Liberia Peace Council (LPC).

Credible but unconfirmed reports say both Senator “PYJ” whose former warring faction, INPFL, broke away from Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and Representative Boley who are currently serving in the National Legislature are doing everything possible to prevent the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia. During the Liberian war, more than 70 massacres were carried out.

With the cessation of the Liberian civil conflict in 2003, local and international human rights advocates, institutions and countries including Liberia’s leading development partners such as the United States and the European Union (EU), among others have been pressing succeeding Liberian administrations including the erstwhile regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and incumbent President, George Manneh Weah, for the formation of the War and Economic Crimes Court.

For Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who was listed in the TRC Final Report as one of 49 individuals recommended for public sanction, she reportedly violated recommendations put forth by the TRC by ignoring the ban placed on her and others not to occupy any public office for thirty years. However, Sirleaf contested for the Liberian presidency in 2005 and 2011, and subsequently won, making Sirleaf to govern the Liberian nation for two six-year terms as President.

The TRC, in its Final Report, indicated that “All those associated with the former warring factions, their leaders, political decision makers, financiers, organizers, commanders, foot soldiers shall be subject to public sanctions in one form or another.

The Report added that EJS, and others, “comprising the most prominent political leaders, and financiers of different warring factions and armed groups, by their conduct, leadership, finances, and support, actions or inactions, are responsible for the commission of gross human rights violations, international humanitarian law violations, international human rights law, war crimes, and egregious domestic law violations.”
They were specifically “barred from holding public office, elected or appointed, for a period of 30 years as of July 1, 2009.”

However, in what some keen political observers call an apparent smart mood, former President Sirleaf, few months to the expiration of her constitutional tenure, requested for the full implementation of the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which underscores the need for justice for victims of the Liberian civil war by the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court. Interestingly, however, the Liberian Legislature strongly rejected her call.

Under the Presidency of George Manneh Weah, a former Peace Ambassador for Liberia, local and international justice groups including Amnesty International, formally wrote the new government which is also struggling to combat widespread acts of corruption, messy economy, mounting security concerns and keen on jobs creation to establish War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.

At one point, over twenty civil society groupings petitioned the Weah-led regime to endorse the formation of the Court, citing that impunity would encourage more violence and undermine the rule of law in the country.

Senator Johnson is a leading politician from Liberia’s second popular county, Nimba, which has a population of over 462,026 while Dr. Boley hails from votes-rich Grand Gedeh with a population of 126, 146. G/Gedeh County is the home of former President Samuel Kayon Doe who was killed in the country’s civil war by the PYJ, now Nimba County Senator.

Nevertheless, emerging report says following several appeals from international human rights organizations, the Weah-led administration is said to be pushing for implementation of the TRC Recommendations after the crucial 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in the country.

But, according to the report, many opposition politicians and other rights advocacy groups at home and abroad are rejecting such suggestion and are lobbying with international powers to press the Weah government to establish the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia before the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

Moreover, in recent times, senior officials of the Joe Biden Administration in the United States have intensified call to fight against corruption in Liberia, threatening for the US government to impose targeted sanctions on some of Liberia’s past and present government officials.

Furthermore, the United States government has shown a continued willingness to combat impunity globally, and Liberia has remained a primary focus of these efforts, from the recent arrest of Liberian warlords Sekou Kamara, to the sanctioning of Liberian politicians under the Global Magnitsky Act and a pending resolution in Congress calling for targeted sanctions in Liberia.

The most recent signal that the US sees tackling impunity dating back to Liberia’s civil war as a key issue came when the Tom Landos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress announced that it received petitions and more than 300,000 signatures calling for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court and more names added to the Magnitsky sanctions list in Liberia.

Congressman Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the Human Rights Commission, declared on recently “Justice delayed is justice denied, but not in the case of Liberia. All perpetrators who committed atrocities during the country’s civil war must be held accountable.”

Rep Smith’s commitment to accountability in Liberia and his continued advocacy for the establishment of a War Crimes Court is longstanding and an important voice in the fight against impunity. But it is essential that the Committee that Rep Smith leads approaches its mission with open eyes and without prejudice or politicization.

Much of the reporting about the recent actions of the US Congress, from Resolution 907, introduced by Congressman Gregory Meeks in February calling for targeted sanctions, to the actions of the Human Rights Commission, has pinned the blame on the George Weah administration for its alleged failure to establish a War Crimes Court.

Viewed from Washington D.C., it is easy to understand how this simplistic conclusion is often reached. However, the 2009 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) identified a long list of individuals complicit in war crimes and other misdeeds during the country’s long civil war. Indeed, if a truly impartial War Crimes Court does come to pass in Liberia, the list of potential targets is a long one, and the blame cannot only be laid at George Weah’s feet for its delayed implementation.

Making matters more complex, individuals who were named in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report have disingenuously declared themselves to be supporters of a War Crimes Court in Liberia and try to use the issue for their own political gain.

Businessman Benoni Urey, a close associate of Charles Taylor named in the TRC report who was previously sanctioned by the United Nations and United States for his wartime activities, for instance, has repeatedly claimed that he supports the establishment of a War Crimes Court while lamenting that only Charles Taylor has faced justice for his wartime activities.

The duplicitous behavior of individuals such as Mr. Urey has not gone unnoticed by experts in the United States, however. An article in Newsweek last year noted that “Many of the supporters of war crime tribunals would be likely to find themselves on the indictment list,” referring to “the Benoni Ureys of the world, who hop from one bandwagon to the next, hoping it will never reach a real court of international law.” An analysis last month in National Interest wrote that “Benoni Urey has long played a complex game in his effort to evade accountability for his wartime actions.”

The renewed interest in accountability in Liberia by the Human Rights Commission of the US Congress comes at an especially sensitive time in Liberia, as political infighting among former opposition coalition partners threatens to imperil judicial independence in the country. Unsurprisingly, Benoni Urey has played the starring role in this drama, too.
The fight for accountability in Liberia by the US Congress should be applauded, and as demonstrated by the 300,000 signatures gathered in support, the Liberian people yearn for justice for the horrors of the country’s civil war. Given the stakes, however, Congress must be on high alert for nefarious actors using the process for their own political gain.

As Rep Smith remarked recently, “all perpetrators who committed atrocities during the country’s civil war must be held accountable.” The people of Liberia will accept nothing less.

See below for the list of 70 massacres carried out around Liberia. Courtesy- TRC Report
A list of massacres in Liberia compiled by Nepalese lawyer, Dr Bipin Adhikari, released in 2004, recorded over 70 major massacres during the civil conflict from 1989-2003, resulting to the death of over 250,000 civilians including women and children.

They included the Grand Kru – Massacre of September 18, 1998, in which security forces in Grand Kru attacked the loyalists of Roosevelt Johnson, the leader of a faction on Friday, September 18, on four locations at about six o’clock local time in the evening.

It was a pre-emptive strike by a column of well-armed troops under the command of Chucky Taylor, the president’s son. In a nation-wide radio statement shortly after the attack, Charles Taylor congratulated his men for what he described as a “surgical operation with precision and swiftness.” This “surgical operation”, however, resulted into a national tragedy in which more than 1000 people were killed.

Two days after the shooting, the government officially announced that only 15 persons lost their lives. Relief workers from the Red Cross and the French NGO, Medicin Sans Frontier, reported that they had buried more than 40 bodies. Local hospitals reported that they had more than 100 bodies in their morgues.

The Lutheran Church Massacre
The massacre in the Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in Sinkor, Monrovia, during the early days of the Liberian-Civil War is also one of the most brutal massacres. This was the largest Lutheran congregation in the country with three services held every Sunday.

During July and early August, over 900 people sought shelter here. On Sunday, July 29, 1990, at about 7 PM, over 200 soldiers from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), headed by an infamous Liberian named Charles Julu, invaded the church, murdered 600 innocent Liberian civilians — mostly Gios and Manos, including many women with children –, and wounded 150 others.

A survivor recounted what had happened: “The soldiers shot the door open, and took all the food they could see inside, and they killed the woman who had the key to the [church’s] warehouse, after raping her. Guards stood at the gate and we stayed inside. Nobody could leave, and then it got dark, and the soldiers came back the same night… There were around 200 [AFL] soldiers who came in. And they began cutting a boy with a knife, and they cut and cut everybody with their knives and machetes.”

Some say the assaulters were people loyal to the late president Samuel K. Doe, himself assassinated by President Charles Taylor’s forces. It is reported that President Samuel Doe stood by and watched as the massacre took place. . One of those who died in the massacre was Taylor’s own father.

There are two mass graves in the church compound even now. Another leader of the massacre, Michael Tilly, had committed numerous acts of grotesque violence before and enjoyed the protection of individuals within the AFL and the government. The AFL’s victimization and murders of civilians was ostensibly meant to discourage recruitment to the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

Cow Field, Duport Road Massacre
About 48 people (civilians) were massacred and burnt by Paul Vaye, Sam Lartee and other soldiers, whilst they were asleep at their homes on Cow field, Duport Road in the Paynesville area. The perpetrators of these msssacres have yet to be identified, although residents of the areas have pointed fingers at Taylor’s NPFL. They were buried in a mass grave in the Palm Grove Cemetery on Center Street.

The massacre was reported by the News Newspaper on December 19, 1994 Vol. 5 # 151 and mentioned.

Harbel Massacre of June 6, 1993
On June 6, a group of armed fighters slaughtered over 500 displaced persons, mostly women and children, at a settlement on the Firestone plantation at Harbel.

Over 600 men, women and children were hacked to death by the NPLF in what became known as the Carter Camp Massacre in Harbel, Margibi County on June 6, 1993. The Armed Forces of Liberia under the command of then C-I-C Dr. Amos C. Sawyer was said to have committed the atrocities because goods looted from the dead were found dumped around AFL positions in Firestone rubber plantations.

A U.N. investigation team, comprised of three eminent international lawyers and human rights advocates, concluded in a September report that the AFL committed the act and cited substantial evidence supporting this finding. AFL soldiers were also caught in possession of property looted from the settlement. The Interim Government and the AFL disputed the U.N. team’s finding, insisting on NPFL culpability.

Three AFL soldiers whom the U.N. report identified as key participants in the massacre were initially ordered held by IGNU but were never actually detained or arrested by IGNU or AFL authorities.

Some other massacres
Massacre in Yarsonnoh, Nimba County in Feb. 1990: A group of AFL soldiers led by Capt. James Celly, Hon. Donzo, Commissioner residing in Ganta, killed 71 persons in Yarsonnoh and burned 52 houses in that town.

Massacre in Ganta, Nimba County in Feb. 1990: A group of AFL soldiers headed by Edwin Voker, Commissioner of Sacleapea Mah, Vakaba Bility and Mr. Biabia entered Karnwee, Nimba County and arrested 18 young men under the guise of being NPFL facilitators. The victims were taken to Ganta and murdered.

Massacre in Nimba County in March 1990: Paul Vaye, George Mansuo, Tarkpor Gweh and men assigned with them arrested Moses Duopue, Stephen Daniels and some of their family members and killed them in Tiaplay, Nimba County. They allegedly acted on the orders of the then Maj. Charles Taylor.

Massacre in Monrovia in June 1990: Moses Thomas, Moses Wright, James Chelly, George Dweh and Tailey, in consultation with President Doe, massacred 27 Gio and Mano families that were members of the AFL and residing at the BTC barracks. They were buried on the beach behind the BTC.

Massacre in Bakedu, Lofa County in July 1990: G. Anthony Mehn, Joe Doe and their bodyguards murdered about 32 persons of the Mandingo ethnic group in Bakedu Lofa County. The murderers were fighters of NPFL.

Massacre in Monrovia in 1990: George Dweh eliminated the Johnny Nah family in Monrovia.

Massacre in Monrovia on August 2, 1990: George Dweh led a group of AFL soldiers to the JFK hospital and massacred 250 persons, most of who were Gios and Manos ethnic groups. Zmajority of them were seeking refuge at the hospital compound while others were arrested at the gate that was placed on the boulevard at the hospital entrance.

Incursion into Sierra Leone in March 1991: Dopoe Menkarzohn, Charles Tingban, Nixon Gaye, Timothy Mulbah and Christopher Varmo crossed into Sierra Leone with about 350 men, armed with assorted weapons as the beginning of the RUF incursion. These men were trained on fair grounds in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, by a group of Gambians headed by Dr. Manneh.

Massacre in Zorzor, Lofa County in May 1991: Mangouhb Menior of the NPFL murdered 16 persons of the Mandingo and Gbandi ethnic groups in Zorzor. The victims were accused of being enemies of the revolution launched by Charles Taylor. Menlor was temporarily detained by Isaac Musa and later released on parole.

Massacre in Kakata –Bong Mines Highway in 1991: An NPFL fighter code named “Mike Tyson” placed 73 person in a house and burned them to death in a place called “compound” on the Kakata – Bong Mines Highway. The victims arrested as suspected ULIMO fighters.

Murder in Zorgowee Town, Nimba County on October 20, 1991: Paul Vaye, Henry Kerdiah, George Mansuo and George Karsuo arrested Jackson F. Doe in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, on the orders of Charles Taylor and murdered him in the Nimba Town of Zorgowee.

Slain in Gardnersville, Montserrado County in October 1992 as reported by JPC investigation: During the infamous “Operation Octopus” launched by NPFL, five Catholic Nuns were slain in the area. Christopher Varmo and Edward Wowah carried out this operation.

Summary Execution at Horton’s Farm, Kakata, Margibi County in October 1992: Martina Johnson, NPFL artillery commander ordered the execution of 23 person arrested in Bong Mines as suspected fighters of ULIMO.

Massacre in firestone, Margibi County on December 26, 1992: Joseph Zackor, alias “Gen. Zack”, Nixon Gayor, Francis Duanna and men assigned with them massacred 35 persons at the Firestone Plantations, division No. 31 while escaping the ULIMO incursion in Kakata.

Massacre in Voinjama, Lofa County on January 2, 1993: Cllr. Lavalla Supuwoo ordered and witnessed the execution of 18 persons in Voinjama. The blood of the victims was drained in a white bucket for use best known to him.

Massacre at Carter Camp, in Margibi County on June 6/7, 1993 as reported by survivors/residents of Harbel, Margibi County: Nixon Gaye, Francis Duana, Melvin Sobani, Fasue along with their soldiers slaughtered close to 600 men, women and children in cold blood from 0100hrs to 0300hrs. This mission was set up to discredit the efforts of ECOMOG. The victims are said to be buried on the outskirts of the camp.

Summary execution in Gbarnga, Bong County on May 11, 1993: Saar Gbollie executed 17 persons in the Gbarnga MP cell while serving as deputy MP Commander for the Executive Mansion Presidential Guard Force (EMPPGF). The victims were arrested in Lofa on suspicion of being ULIMO fighters.

Massacre in Ganta, Nimba County in August 1993: Matthew Cheplay, commander of “Wild Geese” and his men killed 21 persons in Ganta while in route to Sinoe and wanted to loot fuel from a trader. This incident claimed the lives of William Gensee, the wife, and three children of Samuel Luogon.

Massacre at LAC, Grand Bassa County on August 19,1993: Gen. Coo Coo Dennis killed 26 persons in LAC when they were accused of being supporters of LPC.

Massacre in Greenville, Sinoe County in 1993 reported by Mr. David Swen (acting hospital administrator)/ The National Newspaper December 19, 1996 Vol. #62: More than 100 humans skeletons were discovered at the Francis J. Grant Hospital in Greenville, Sinoe County. According to Mr. David Swen, the acting hospital administrator at the time, the skeletons were of people taken captive by LPC in 1993. They were discovered when the hospital staff went in to access their facilities after ECOMOG was deployed in 1996.

Massacre in Vahun, Lofa County in 1993 reported by the Media: Six Senegalese ECOMOG soldiers were murdered by Oliver Varnie, Timothy Mulbah and Joe Doe in Vahun on orders of Charles Taylor and his then defense Minister J. Thomas Wuworyu following ECOMOG’s deployment in his controlled areas. Their bodies were dumped in a valley in Vahun and NPFL authorities refused to turn the bodies over to the ECOMOG High Command. It was based on persistent international pressure that the bodies of the six Senegalese were turned over to the ECOMOG High Command. Their bodies were flown to Senegal for proper burial.

Massacre in Neeswen Town, Rivercess County on January 15, 1994 reported by the Daily News Newspaper Vol. 3 # 24: The NPFL fighters killed 32 persons after they were accused of being supporters of the LPC. The fighters were said to have entered the town at about 3:00am and began slaughtering occupants of houses marked by the LPC.

Massacre in Kpakolokuya Town, Bong County in February 1994: Siafa Normah ordered the execution of 15 men in Kpakolokuya Town, Bong County during his term as army chief of staff of the NPFL. Abel Normah and Wogbagii implemented the order.

Massacre in Gbarnga, Bong County in May 1994: Andrew Koah, Alosius Sackie, Gaye Getteh, Saturday Tuah, J.J. Doeh, and Marcus Seebo tied 19 men in a Tarpolin and hung them over a pile of fire until they died. The culprits acted on the orders f Cassius Jacobs.

Summary Execution in Zorzor, Lofa County in 1994: General Apolo J. Swen, front line commander for ULIMO, murdered 69 POWs of NPFL in Lofa.

Massacre in Moulton Corner, Brewersville, Montserrado County on June 19, 1994 as reported by Charles Bryant, Benjamin Brown, Marilyn Wright/ the Inquirer Newspaper June 23, 1994 Vol. 4 # 111: Nine persons, including an entire family, were slaughtered in the areas that was controlled by Mandingo fighters who recaptured the area from the Krahn fighters.

Massacre in Kpoloppai, Bong County in September 1994 as reported by JPC Gbarnga Coordinator: LPC massacred about 300 persons “allegedly” when they fled the fighting in Gbarnga between ULIMO – K and NPFL.

Massacre at Phebe, Bong County in September 1994 as reported by residents of the area: LPC allegedly massacred over 100 persons who were hospitalized and or seeking shelter at the Phebe Hospital after fleeing fighting between ULIMO –K and NPFL.

Massacre in Duoh, Nimba County in October 1994: Chinese Japper, a then commander under Coo coo Dennis, murdered 86 persons in Duoh, while retreating from Bassa with about 1700 fighters escaping from LPC.

Murder in Beilah, Bong county in October 1994: On the orders of Saturday Tuah of the NPFL, Junior Vaye dumped the wife and children of James Glasco in the St. John River in Beilah during the fall of Gbarnga to ULIMO.

Massacre in Nimba County in November 1994: A group of NPFL soldiers led by Dominic Sayeh and Bleh Vah killed 176 persons at the Sendin Crossing Point in Nimba County. The victims were of the Bassa ethnic group.

Massacre in Ganta Nimba County on November 11, 1994: General Liberty killed 21 unarmed boys in Ganta during the fall of Gbarnga. He accused them of being disguised ULIMO fighters.

Massacre in Cow Field, Duport Road, Montserrado County on December 15, 1994 reported by the News Newspaper on December 19, 1994 Vol. 5 # 151: About 48 persons (civilians were massacred by Paul Vaye, Sam Lartee and other soldiers of NPFL, while they were asleep at their home. Cow Field, Duport Road in the Paynesville area. The bodies were buried in a mass grave in the Palm Grove Cemetery on Center Street.

Murder in Grand Kru County in January 1995 as reported by Isaiah Momboe Sackor, Niffu Borta Community Development Association/ The Inquirer Newspaper, January 3, 1995 Vol. 4 # 241: The Liberian Peace Council fighters killed 18 citizens.

Massacre in Tappita, Nimba County on September 27, 1995 reported by JPC: Gen. Jack the Rebel acting upon the orders of Charles G. Taylor killed 105 persons in Tappita. These people were killed because they refused to give up their only sawmill in their town.

Massacre in Bokomu District, Fassama Town, Lofa County in March 1996 as reported by an escapee/Monrovia Daily News Vol. 3 # 61: Several person lost their lives in six villages and towns by fighters of ULIMO. The commanders Maj. A.C. Dorley held separate meetings in the area at which time he accused the villages of being informants for the Lofa Defense Force (LDF) and retreating remnants of NPFL.

Massacre in Zuanna Town/Bloun Town, Roycesville, Bomi County on April 18, 1996 as reported by several residents including the block leader/The News Newspaper, December 11, 1996 Vol. # 47: Twelve persons were killed when a group of fighters stormed the area and burned down the displaced camp and Karmo Town.

Mass Grave found at Barclay Training Center (BTC) Beach, Central Monrovia, Montserrado County in August 1996 as reported by Chief Pathologist, Dr. Isaac Moss/ The National Chronicle, August 29-30, 1996 Vol. 1 #31: A team of medical doctors and health practitioners involved in the exhuming and reburying of dead bodies revealed that over 500 bodies were exhumed at the BTC beach and reburied at the Center Street Cemetery. Some of the people died from bullets or blunt objects while some were beheaded.

Mass Grave at Matadi Estate, Airfield and Sinkor in August 1996 as reported by Chief Pathologist, Dr. Isaac Moss/ The National Chronicle, August 29-30, 1996 Vol. 1 #31: Mass grave were discovered in these areas by a team of medical doctors.

Massacre in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County on September 28, 1996 as reported by UN Relief workers/ The Inquirer Vol. 5 # 75; Daily News Vol. 5 #62; and The News Vol. 7 # 17: According to a UN press release issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary General Amb. Anthony B. Nyakyi, about 17 civilians were killed and many were injured while about 1000 civilians escaped the bloodbath. But other reports put the number at 25 to 48.

More Killing in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County in September 1996 as reported by fleeing residents/The Inquirer Newspaper October 4, 1996 Vol. 5 # 75: Unidentified fighters reportedly killed nine prominent citizens of Robertsport. The fighters claimed that their victims gave money to another armed group to attack their positions.

Gruesome Killings in Seyon Town Bushrod Island in October 1996 as reported by residents of Seyon Town/The News Newspaper October 18, 1996 Vol. 7 # 24: Three ex-combatants who had lured the market women from the Freeport of Monrovia where they had gone to buy rice and bulgur wheat slaughtered the two women; Doris Dekeh and Louis (surname not known). The three after they had killed the women, sprinkled kerosene on their remains, covered them with tires and set them ablaze. LD $2500 was taken from them.

Massacre in Zuanna Town Bloun, Royesville, Bomi County on December 7, 1996 as reported by the News Newspaper December 11, 1996 Vol. 7 # 47: Eight persons were killed. ULIMO-J is accused of committing the act.

Murder in Gbarnga, Bong County on November 28, 1997 as reported by JPC investigation/The News Newspaper, December 8-9, 1997, Vol. 8 # 103: An opposition politician and former Deputy Speaker of the TLA, Samuel Saye Doke, his wife Janet, his sister Serena and nephew Emmanuel Voker were arrested at a security checkpoint in Gbarnga while in route to Sanniquellie, Nimba County to attend a welding. It was alleged that the SSS Director, Benjamin Yeaten ordered their arrest. Following their arrest, Mr. Dokie was brought to Monrovia for investigation and subsequently take back to Gbarnga. Three days later, the burnt bodies of the Dokies, the government said it never ordered the arrest of Mr. Dokie. The SSS Director, Benjamin Yeaten, however, admitted ordering Mr. Dokie’s arrest, but not his murder. Yeaten was temporarily relived of his post to assist in the investigation. The court for lack of evidence acquitted two security personnel Richard Saydee and Kennday Fineboy, who had been named as prime suspects. Their bodies are said to be buried around a place called Barbecue Corner on the Gbarnga-Kokoy Road.

Murder at Freeport, Bushrod Island, Monrovia on December 16, 1997 as reported by eyewitnesses: Daniel Nyankan, a businessman was found dead around the Freeport of Monrovia with bruises all over his body. His death sparked off controversy, with the police authorities accusing ECOMOG soldiers of killing Nyankan. Family sources, however, quoted eyewitnesses as saying that state security forces killed Nyankan after he had been severely flogged.

Mass Grave in Zorzor, Lofa County in April 1998 as reported by Zorzor citizen youth leader George/ The Heritage, April 28-30, 1998 Vol. 2 #53: NPFL fighters killed several people including pregnant women. The youth leader (George) claimed that the victims’ hands and legs were tied before they were buried alive in shallow, thin graves of about three to four feet deep.

Murder in Paynesville, Montserrado County on June 28, 1998: Nowai Flomo, a market woman, disappeared from her residence in Kpelle Town, Paynesville. She was allegedly abducted from her house at about 11:00am by nine officers of the SSS, led by one David Daniel, who had gone to visit Ms. Gormie Jartu, a housemate of Ms. Flomo. The SSS officers allegedly murdered her after an exchange of words over the manner in which the security personnel drove in the yard. Her corpse has not been found. The police later released all those arrested in connection with the disappearance for what the police termed “lack of evidence”.

Massacre on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia on September 18, 1998 as reported by resident in the Camp Johnson Road Area: State Security forces attacked Gen. Roosevelt Johnson, a former warring faction leader, on Camp Johnson Road. The government within 24 hours gave three different reasons for the invasion, which eyewitness accounts say, claimed the lives of over 100 persons. The government put the casualty figures at 53. The government first said that its security forces went to evict illegal occupants in private houses when they came under attack. Then, State Security Officials alleged that they were on patrol in the Camp Johnson Road area when they came under attack from supporters of Gen. Johnson. Finally, the Government claimed that the incident was a ruse buy Gen. Johnson and his supporters in their bid to violently overthrow it.

Massacre at the Episcopal Church, Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia on September 19, 1998 reported by National Human Rights Commission’s Report published October 13, 1998: On September 18 th, President Taylor ordered the eviction of Mr. Roosevelt Johnson from his residence. Several persons of the Krahn ethnic tribe ran into the Episcopal Church. SSU allegedly executed about 1500 persons, mostly young men at dawn of September 19, 1998. Col. Junior Fania, Leo Jebo, Saa Gbollie, Joe Tuah, General Eric Sway, and Arthur saah, Benedict Mentee, spearheaded this operation.

Massacre on Schiefflin Highway on September 19, 1998: Mark Guahn murdered 13 persons of the Krahn ethnic group on Schiefflin Highway. They were arrested in Monrovia on charges of being supporters of Gen. Roosevelt Johnson.

Massacre in Nekebozu, Lofa County on August 10, 1999 as reported by UL student hailing from Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Chiefdom/ the New Democrat Newspaper: Militia men in Nekabozu
killed about 25 members of Quardu-Gboni citizens

Massacre in Nikagabozu, Lofa County on September 2, 1999 as reported by UL student hailing from Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Chiefdom/ the New democrat Newspaper, Vol. 4 # 104/ The Inquirer Newspaper Vol. 8 # 156: Members of the AFL allegedly massacred about 100 persons in Nikagabozu. This was believed to be a reprisal of a recent massacre of elders and Chiefs of Liewalzo by dissident forces (LURD), when they entered Liberia on August 11, 1999. The students blamed the massacre squarely at the feet of Defense Minister, Daniel Chea as a result of an interview he granted the BBC Journalist Robin White.

Murder at ELWA junction, Paynesville on September 28, 1999 Eyewitness accounts: Henrique Cassell, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and brother-in-law of President Taylor shot and killed Papa George, a taxi driver, at the Golf Filling station at the ELWA junction in Paynesville. Cassell accused Papa George of overtaking his car. The defenseless taxi driver went on his knees and pleaded for mercy but to no avail. Cassell then pulled out his pistol and fired at George while he was begging for mercy. Cassell was charged with murder, found guilty and sentence to imprisonment. President Taylor granted him general amnesty last year.

Massacre in Swen, Bomi County on October 10, 1999: Siafa Norman massacred about 20 civilians who were accused of being LURD supporters in Swen Mechan District, Bomi County.

Massacre in Bawon Town, Zorzor District, Lofa County in January 2000 as reported by UL students from Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Chiefdom/New Democrat Newspaper, February 4-7, 2000 Vol. 6 #145: Armed militiamen massacred 18 persons of the Mandingo ethnic group in Lofa County. Government announced an investigation into the extra-judicial killings, but nothing was heard beyond the announcement.

Massacre in Gbar, Bong County in January 2000: Melvin Sobani ordered the execution of 26 unarmed civilians in Gbar, Bomi County. They were accused of being supporters of LURD.

Summary Execution in Gbatala Base, Bong County in 2000: Chucky Taylor murdered more than 100 persons at the Gbatala ATU Training Base. Some of the victims were trainees charged with failure to follow instruction (FFI).

Summary Execution in Voinjama, Lofa County in May 2000: Mr. Joe Gbala ordered the execution of 42 captives in Voinjama. They were considered GOL soldiers who had surrender in a battle between John Town and Zorzor. Others were brought from Foyah.

Summary Execution in Kornia, Lofa County in March 2001: Momo Jibba ordered the execution of 14 persons in Kornia, Lofa County when GOL recaptured the town from LURD. He also planned and executed the death of François Massaquoi, the then Youth and Sports Minister.

Massacre in Saclepea, Nimba County in May 2001: Daniel Gweh, Tony Gonyor, etc. murdered 7 Mandingos and burnt down their houses.

Massacre in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County on June 9, 2002: Ofourie Jay alias “Iron Jacket” massacred 110 young men and women in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County. They were accused of being sympathizers of Government of Liberia.

Massacre in Marhair River Bridge, Tubmanburg, Bomi County on July 20, 2002 as reported by two of the survivors: About 175 persons were massacred allegedly on the orders of Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. They claimed that the people were sympathizers of LURD.

Summary Execution in Congo Town Monrovia on September 18, 2002: Isaac Gono of the ATU, Chief Driver of Charles Taylor, Jr. “Chucky”, was beaten to death on the morning of September 18, 2002 for allegedly hitting a dog with Chucky’s car.

Incursion into Ivory Coast on October 21, 2002: Charles Taylor mandated Benjamin Yeaten Joe Tuah, Liaison officer, Edward T. Zamay, Training Officer, Walloe, death squad commander, Osebo Demain, logistics officer, and Matthew Karn, artillery commander to cross into Ivory Coast to assist felix Doe, leader of the Western Rebel, as mercenaries

Massacre in Toe’s Town, Grand Gedeh County on February 28, 2003 as reported by JPC Monitor/The Inquirer Newspaper, March 17, 2003 Vol. 13 #39/ The News Newspaper, March 17, 2003 Vol. 14 #222: General Gbor Vaye of the GOL slaughtered three employees of the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) namely: Kara Lund, a Norwegian, Arty. Emmanuel Sharply, a Liberian and Country Director, and driver Muse Keita, another Liberian were massacred while in route to Maryland County to pay their employees. The perpetrators were never brought to justice

Murder in Paynesville, Montserrado County on June 4, 2003 as reported by the deceased wives and relatives: The Deputy Ministers for National Security and Public Works, John Yormie and Isaac Vaye were arrested on the night of June 4, 2003 by a group of armed men under the command of one “Bababa” of the SSS which it was alleged he was acting on the orders of Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. They were allegedly brought to Monrovia, interrogated and later driven back on the Gbarnga-Ganta highway (CNC Logging Company area) and later killed. Their bodies were allegedly dropped on the train track by a container in the Ganta area. Their wives are demanding their bodies to give them a befitting burial

Massacre in Gbarn, Nimba County on May 26, 2003: Adolphus Sampson, special bodyguard to Gen. Benjamin Yeaten murdered a family of five at the railroad bridge near Gbarn, Nimba County upon seeing then with $75,000LD, and two pieces of diamonds

Massacre in Nimba County on May 6, 2003: Adolphus Sampson, Gola Red, Alphonso, Nyanay, Marcus and High-grade on the orders of Gen. Yeaten massacred Samuel Bokarie, his wife, mother and two children in Nimba County. Francis Menwon and Peter Sakpeideh witnessed it.

Summary Execution at Lofa Bridge on May 2003: General Sekou Kromah and his men murdered 24 persons on Lofa Bridge. The victims were arrested in the Tubmanburg area and charged with reconnoitering.

Summary Execution in Monrovia on June 9, 2003: Charles Taylor, Jr. “Chucky” murdered 18 persons at the Stockton Creek Bridge. Gen. Roland Duo men arrested these people as POW of LURD.

Summary execution in Monrovia in June-July 2003: Lomax, artillery crew commander of Wild Geese, Marcus High Grade, bodyguard to Yeaten and Nyan murdered 42 persons on the Johnson Street Bridge for looting. The victims were accused but never tried.

Massacre in Combat Camp in July 2003: Marcus High Grade and Gola-Red acting on instruction of Gen. Yeaten transported 78 wounded soldiers from Monrovia to Combat Camp, under pretense of going to pay them and killed them. The victims were demanding to be paid by Charles Taylor.

Summary Execution in Klay, Bomi County in July 2003: General Abbas of LURD murdered 26 persons in Klay. The victims were arrested on Bushrod Island as POW of GOL.

Massacre at Tubman Farm, Bong County on September 8-20, 2003: Zeezah Mazah, special bodyguard to Benjamin Yeaten fed Mr. Charles Taylor’s lions with 26 living persons on his farm in Maleki, Bong County. This was a prescribed punishment for those who committed crimes.

Summary Execution Po-River, Bomi County on October 11-26, 2003: General Wasue Donzo of the LURD ordered the execution of over 26 persons on the Po-River Bridge, Tubmanburg Highway and dumped some of their bodies in the Po-River.

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