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Gladys Arthur’s experiences in the Liberian civil war

During the Liberian civil war, my parents were not together precisely my father sought refuge in neighbouring country, Sierra Leone. Considering the  tension within our community, the Samuel K.Doe Boulevard (SKD), we decided to move as a family seeking a better place. On our way with no where special in our mind, we met some rebels at the Stephen Tolbert Estate Bridge commonly known as “Double Bridge”. While there, my mother was searched by one the rebels’ leaders named Mango Menlor who was a Special Forces trained by Charles Taylor to attack Liberia. He was among the first group of Liberians rebels that attack the country on December 24th, 1989.

After searching my mother, she was noticed with huge amount of money which at the end, was taken away from her. Owing to his belief that my mother could have reported him to some senior commandos, he ordered the killing of my mother where he as the commander fully participated in the killing of my mother. I saw him when he shot my mother twice in the lower and upper sides of her body. Thereafter, we were taken by him to a place called Kakata until his departure to other assignments areas. Later, he new that we were children of the lady killed at the bridge. My twins’ brothers were given to some relatives of his as their own but I closely monitored their dwelling areas from conversations held with those that were taking care of them. While with him at the age of fourteen, he asked me one day go along with him to some unknown area which I did. Upon our arrival and considering what he did to my mother, I became afraid but within a second he throw me down and naked me thereby forcing me into sex. In short, he raped me. With such experiences, I decided to find my way out without informing him which I did until the coming of the TRC of Liberia where I was opportune to have shared my experiences. He was called and when questioned, he admitted and asked to make my two brothers available for the sake of reconciliation. However, upon seeing my two brothers, with a few months, one died and today only the two of us are living without mother and father because the whereabouts of our father though not killed in the Liberian war is unknown.

Statement by Madia Korkosal

Owing to the fact that my family was very poor where they could not afford sending me to school, I was carried to the city for the purpose of schooling. Now, whenever I think about the way my brother was killed, I feel bad. If my memory can set me right, I came to Monrovia at the age of twelfth (12) in 1985. This was confirmed by my brother in 1990 just before his death.  While travelling from place to place seeking for refuge, I was forcibly taken from the line by one of the rebels at which time he mentioned to the group that I am his wife. Upon hearing such statement from a rebel only known as ‘Push to Fire’ with a braided hair, my brother, Melvin Korkorsal told him to let me go because I was just twelfth years. Push to Fire was fighting alongside the NPFL.

This statement or appeal from my brother did not go well with the rebel, ‘Push to Fire’ for which he and his friends hauled my brother out of the line by force taking he and I behind a hut close to bush. While there, my brother was tied with bush ropes on a three near the bush facing him to where I was raped by the same two guys that tied him. I was raped in his presence. After raping me, my brother was loosed at which time he jumped on one of them to fight because my condition was very bad in that I was bleeding. When he was overcome, he was fired two times in the head thereby killing him instantly.

Considering my condition I could not have gone anywhere because I was afraid of being abuse for the second. On that note, I remain there with them until one of them went on the front and he was also killed.  Fearing to be taken to the front by some senior officers of NPFL, Push to Fire took me to a nearby village in Lofa County where we were until he was also taken to the front. While there, I managed to cross over to Guinea where I was until my departure to Monrovia on March 3rd 2004. The ugly thing about my life is that, my interior based parents were killed by a bomb blast during a fight NPFL and the AFL within the Lofa forest between Kolahun and Foyah districts.  As you can see me, I am along though I have some relatives but locating them has been a serious problem.

Yarma Kollie’s statement

On September 8, 1994 LPC forces attacked Gbarnga and over ran NPFL positions in other parts of Bong County. Some of the NPFL fighters retreated to the deep interior parts far from the grips of the insurgent LPC forces. Due to the isolation from central command and lack of adequate ammunition and armoires, the NPFL fighters retreated to regroup in Kpolokpalah and stayed there. However, as the LPC expanded their control over the area there were approximately 400 t0 500 hundred civilians in the area (Kplokpalah). When LPC was informed that NPFL was in said area, they launched an attack that took away many lives but NPFL overcame them thereby causing them to flee miles away. With such victory over LPC, NPFL pursue them into their hide outs. Few days later, some of the villagers inclusive of my mother (Ma Lorpu), uncle (James Kerkula) and few others in the town were tortured to death and thrown in a river while being tied by NPFL rebels because they accused of being spies for LPC. NPFL felt that LPC attack on them was the result of released information. Being convinced that LPC could not make anymore attack on them; they started raping girls and taking some as sex slaves. While raping the girls, I was taken by one of their officers to be his wife after he had raped and kept me in house for day and two without taking a bath. Whenever he took drugs, he used me at will because any attempt to resist, it could result to my death. As the result of such ill treatment, I am now told by the doctor that I will never own a child.

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