‘Jungle Jabbah’s’ war: Accused Liberian’s own story emerges in court

By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer @jeremyrroebuck | jroebuck@phillynews.com|

Federal prosecutors say that Mohammed Jabateh of Delaware County committed murder, rape, and cannibalism under the nickname “Jungle Jabbah” during Liberia’s first civil war. (Camera icon JAMES KOKULO FASUEKOI / The AfricaPaper)

(Philly.com) All week, his fellow Liberians have lined up outside a Philadelphia federal courtroom to accuse alleged war criminal Mohammed Jabateh of acts of unfathomable cruelty.

But on Thursday, the jury weighing the 51-year-old East Lansdowne man’s immigration-fraud case heard for the first time Jabateh’s own account of the ethnic conflict that ravaged his native country in the early 1990s.

Like many of his accusers, he, too, said he had been persecuted based on his tribal affiliation. Like them, he also saw loved ones raped and gunned down while attempting to escape the chaos. And, he told U.S. immigration officers in 1998, his time during the war could be traced by the scars left on his body by torture.

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About Cholo Brooks 4930 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.