Tuesday July 27, 2004
More tears have been shed by witnesses at the Special Court for Sierra Leone as they continue to narrate the atrocities allegedly committed by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front ( RUF).
Witness TF-064 cried for over 5 minutes uninterrupted and Presiding Judge Benjamin Itoe (Pictured right) had to tell her to have comfort and continue her testimony when the woman broke down after telling the court about how the rebels raped her, though pregnant, amputated both her hands; removed her sister’s underwear and plunged a knife into her private parts; rounded up kids and assembled them along with adults under a tree.They included her own sons, who were 1 and 3 years old.
She alleged that the rebels then separated the kids from the adults and murdered all but one of the children, with the surviving child being asked to carry a blood-dripping bag as they left the village with their captives. The woman said she was asked at gunpoint to laugh when she saw the dead bodies of the children littering the floor. She was then shown the contents of the bloody bag–The heads of all the kids, including her sons’, who had been killed.
Our reporter , Soriebah Kalokoh, said that Sierra Leoneans were outraged by the testimonies , which are bringing back sad memories of the 11-year-old war and many people are blasting the court for not bringing to trial the rebels who individually perpetuated these wicked acts.
“What is the use of having us hear all these pathetic stories when the people who committed them are free and will not face charges ? “an old man was quoted as saying. The Special Court is trying only the leaders of the various armies , who are deemed as bearing the greatest responsibility for the horrors committed by their fighters.