Woman cries bitterly as tells Special Court how rebels raped her before son and massacred her whole family in Kono


By Sampson Cole in Freetown

Thursday  July 22, 2004

At the Special Court yesterday, the fifth Prosecution
Witness wept while narrating how rebels in Kono
allegedly killed her two sons, three brothers, mother,
mother and father-in-laws and other members of her

The witness who was born in Kwakor, Gbense
Chiefdom in Kono said that during the war she was
staying Fuendor but when they heard about the rebels
she and her husband, mother, children together with
some other people from Tombodu hid in the bush near
Fuendor. In the bush she went on they ate only cassava
and ?potatoe leaves’ with no oil or rice to go with
it. “By that time I was heavily pregnant,” she said.

The witness further went on to narrate that it was not
too long after she delivered that together with her
family they were captured by the rebels. “While I was
with them they asked me to have sex with one of the
abductee who was a Temne man. I refused because I was
a suckling mother. They flogged the Temne man and me.
They then forced me down and took my legs apart and I
had sex with the man and my son was standing by crying
and they flogged also,” she said.

The rebels according
to her told them to go into the town and stop
punishing themselves in the bush and they then went to
Fuendor. She went on, “in Fuendor we were told to
undress and our children including my two boys aged
three and the other under one year were taken away
from us and placed under an orange tree,” adding,
“they undressed and too us into a room. I heard the
children screaming and crying for some time after
which there was silence. It was then that I knew the
children have been killed. I whispered my fears to my
mother and she fainted”

She said that whilst they were
in the room, the rebels took the people inside
including her relatives one by one outside and there
was gunshots and shouting from the people. “I was the
last to come outside and I saw dead bodies all around
including that of the Town Chief and one of my son,”
she wept. The witness went on further to explain that
the Temne man whom she had sex was given a bag of
human heads to carry while she too carried some other
loads. “When we arrived at Tombodu the heads were
thrown on the ground and I then saw the head of my
other son on the ground. Later the heads were thrown
into the river on the orders of their ?bossman’. The
head of the Temne man was slit open and the body
dragged into the river,” she said.

The woman also said  said that one
Tamba Joe who brought the rebels to their town ordered
that she should be killed but was saved by one Kissi
man and given in marriage to an old man. She said that
her way of escape came when she went to fetch water
and hide in the bush for about three days without
eating or drinking anything. “It was when my feet
started swelling that I decided to come out of hiding.
When I arrived to my aunt’s place they were afraid of
me thinking I was a ghost,” she said. She was then
taken to hospital for treatment.

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