How Lawsuit Against Norway and Ayaba Cho in a U.S Court Has Unearthed Hitherto Dormant Relations Between Yaounde and Oslo

Norwegian Prime Minister 

By Colbert Gwain 

It was not until the infamously famous Bob Denard (a high profile French mercenary who led ruthless, often ill-disciplined bands of European ex-soldiers, sometimes referred to as "Les Affreux" ["the terrible ones"], to overthrow governments in Africa and other parts of the world (as well as track and eliminate runaway enemies of State) was successfully dragged to court both in Benin and in France, especially by families of victims of the failed coup in Benin in 1977, that the world registered a seismic shift on how to confront individuals and groups that created and sustained deadly conflicts and armed secessionist movements around the globe.

Although Bob Denard didn't serve the five year sentence in France because at the time of judgment he was off the shores of France to stage another coup in the Comoros Island (and although in Benin he had already been handed down a death penalty), he was later accosted and tried by an Italian court for killing innocent families in the Comoros Islands while toppling the government of Abdallah. Since the seismic shift, and with the strengthening of international and local laws across the world, civilized nations now prefer to follow the rule of law in bringing to book individuals and groups that create havoc and bring untold suffering to citizens in any part of the world, however originally good their intentions were. That is why, although Bob Denard had claimed during the trial in Italy that he was a covert agent for the French secret service (and fighting to maintain French influence in Africa), the judge dismissed the evidence as not enough to absolve him of the criminal charges.

It is probably from this jurisprudential evidence and background that the significant legal action filed against the Kingdom of Norway and Ayaba Cho (a Norwegian citizen of Cameroonian nationality and top separatist leader) should be understood. The lawsuit filed under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) seems to hold the Kingdom of Norway accountable for its alleged support to Ayaba Cho Lucas, who since 2017, has been initiating, coordinating and directing extreme violence against innocent citizens in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon. 

In order to situate this latest initiative by the learned Barrister Emmanuel Nshalai both in time and space for proper understanding, it should be noted that the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, JASTA, is a U.S law (passed in 2016), that allows victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments and individuals who have supported terrorists activities anywhere around the world (just like victims of the famous Bob Denard's atrocious acts in Africa did in the 70s). The law was therefore principally designed to help victims seek justice and hold governments and individuals accountable, even if they are outside the United States of America. Successful lawsuits under JASTA have been filed against Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, showing that foreign countries can be held accountable for supporting terrorism in other countries.

Ayaba Cho Lucas

Basically, the Emmanuel Nshalai inspired lawsuit claims that Norway has 'intentionally, recklessly, or negligently provided a safe haven for Cho Ayaba Lucas, allowing him to continue his terrorist activities against Cameroon'. It posits that 'despite several complaints and evidence of his involvement in terrorism, Norway has not taken action to prosecute him'. And that instead, it has gone ahead to 'grant him citizenship and allowed him to operate freely'. 

If there's anything the lawsuit seeks to achieve, it is the fact that it raises awareness both nationally and internationally, puts unprecedented legal pressure on Norway, and above all, seeks justice for the thousands of innocent victims of the atrocious acts in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon. If successful, Norway could face legal repercussions, which could force it to hold Cho Ayaba Lucas accountable for his actions. The lawsuit represents a meaningful step forward towards seeking justice for the thousands of innocent Cameroonians who have suffered due to Ayaba Cho's atrocious acts. Holding the kingdom of Norway accountable is seen as a way to prevent future senseless activities. 

Early Fruits of the Lawsuit:

Since the filing of the lawsuit, voices have arisen both from within Cameroon and Norway to put the hard question on purpose as to why the earlier cordial and friendly relations between Cameroon and Norway in the 60s had to be frozen. Cameroon and Norway have had bilateral and diplomatic relations since the early 60s. Although neither country has pushed the relations to ambassadorial level, Cameroon has its closest embassy in London, while Norway has theirs in Abuja, and a Consulate in Cameroon.  Cameroon was the third African country with the Norwegian Missionary Society presence, after South Africa and Madagascar. Cameroon and Norway have had very strong cultural and religious ties. The Norwegian Missionary Society, NMS, itself has stated that their presence in Cameroon was 'a result of a greater vision of constructing a Bible belt across Africa to contend with the increasing Muslim influence from the North'. A key Norwegian Missionary, Halfdan Endresen, was decorated by the newly independent Cameroon in 1960 for anti-slavery efforts, and another, Bjorn Blue, who was stationed in Tibati, Yoko and Ngaoundere, upon returning to Norway and becoming Bishop, remained a key liaison in organizing cultural events involving Cameroon.

Another major liaison between Cameroon and Norway was football. Cameroon football as a central pillar of Cameroon's silent diplomacy became popular in Norway in the 1986 and 1990 FIFA world cups, especially with author Jon Michelet portraying Cameroon in a positive way. Following that, a friendly match between Cameroon and Norway was organized later in 1990, and since then, a number of Cameroonian footballers (both men and women) have played in Norway in the 21st century.

Since the filing of the lawsuit and the revisiting of Cameroon-Norway relations by well-meaning citizens in both countries, voices have been rising to request that the government of Cameroon and the FA quickly bury their hatchet so as to arrange a football return friendly between Cameroon and Norway in Yaounde, as part of reigniting the erstwhile friendly and cordial relations between Yaounde and Oslo. In the past few weeks too, and following news of the lawsuit in the United States of America, Christian voices in Norway have been calling for a larger degree of official Norwegian involvement in Cameroon, including increased aid and trade. What with a team of Norwegian journalists and FBI agents just returning from Cameroon to Norway and the United States of America, after a fact finding mission that enabled them to meet and gather first-hand information on the atrocities in the two English speaking regions and what role both countries could play in normalizing the situation.

Since the end of the Cold War, Norway has developed a model to foreign policy known as the "Norwegian model," the goal of which is to contribute to peace and stability through coordinated response among governmental and non-governmental Norwegian organizations; acting as an honest broker in international conflicts; an informal network of Norwegian individuals with access and credibility among parties; and the willingness to take the long view in international issues. Although most of her mediation efforts are always misunderstood as some countries claim they prop up separatist groups, the cornerstones of Norwegian policy are active membership in NATO, and support for the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Norway also pursues a policy of economic, social, and cultural cooperation with other Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland – through the Nordic Council. Norway ended a 2-year term on the UN Security Council in January 2003, and chaired the Iraq Sanctions Committee. 

Barrister Emmanuel Nshalai's lawsuit opines that it is in Norway's interest to do the needful so as not to fall into the category of rogue States after generation upon generation of a positive impact created in the domain of third-party mediation and peace building efforts across the world. Since 2017, Barrister Emmanuel Nshalai has demonstrated in triumphant detail his determination to fight against terrorism and separatism in Cameroon using innovative legal maneuvers. 

His actions led to the arrest and detention of over 30 separatist sponsors in the United States, the financial disruption and blocking of separatists bank accounts (including the halting of their online fundraising platforms as well as creating fear in many U.S banks that hitherto hosted separatists’ bank accounts), silencing the most vocal online media platforms used by separatists to stream incitement and violent rhetoric, filing hundreds of complaints worldwide against separatists (including the pending lawsuit at the International Criminal Court, ICC, at The Hague and many more against countries shielding Cameroonian separatists. 

If anything, the tireless actions of this legal fighter have created a hostile environment for separatist fighters’ activities both online and offline. This comprehensive approach demonstrates Barrister Nsahlai's commitment to using the full power of the law to protect innocent lives and by extension, restore peace in Cameroon. 

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  1. A nation born out of propaganda and deceit never survives a real test of its existence. Cameroun will not receive help this time. All this propaganda are desperate PR stunt for gullible colonial apologists. The two cubes of sugar have refused to dissolve. Stop your desperate public Lamentations. The burning of villages, homes, countless massacres have not stopped the resistance. 1 million imagined lawsuits have no chance. Leave Ambazonia

  2. Cameroun is so desperate. They have not been able to defeat Ambazonia on the ground and have resolved using proxies like this newspaper to continue propaganda. If not stupidity, how do you sue someone in Norway in the USA? Trying to implicate Norway in the senseless war may invite consequences on Cameroun

  3. Unequivocally condemn the blatant misinformation and targeted propaganda spread by Cameroonian regime sponsors. The attempt to malign Ambazonians and the legitimate struggle for self-determination reflects the desperate measures of a state known for its own human rights abuses. The global community has seen through these distortions and support the just cause of Ambazonia.

  4. In 2017 our valiant Patriotic Volunteers rose up with bare hands to fight against neo-imperalist oppressive system that had kept a people ,the people of the Former British Southern Cameroons- Ambazonia for over 50 years, today 63 years Cameroon still things they can Lord over the Ambazonian people as we have chosen to be called ourselves. After many Internacional calls for a genuine dialogue, they have come up with cosmetic solutions, have refuse to dialogue with the people of Ambazonia . All they know how to do best is useless propaganda that does not solve the Root causes of the problem but help further exacerbate the war and give the valiant patriotic Volunteers time you better their military prowress.
    Note should be taken that these are the never again generation with one agenda , the total and unconditional independence of Ambazonia. So no matter how many law suits , killing of our leaders and supreme generals will change ,instead it give the people of Ambazonia reason to confirm the divisibility of that construct called Cameroons. We are a free people , one thing to note we are already mentally free , for independence means independence. Propaganda propagate wars, it's not a solution to resolve, it's still part of the manipulation we cry out loud for , we will not blink in the face of propaganda. God bless Ambazonia

  5. Lies lies lies. Propaganda will not stop us and it will not work. This is like putting paint over a molded wall. It will not work. Its cosmetics

  6. This is the foolishness of some Cambazonians like the author of this piece crab. A war is not worn by propaganda filled with lies. If the author of this crab piece of information has a living conscience he should be asserting to the fact that the ADF (Ambazonia Defence Forces) have deligitimise Cameroon in Ambazonia and have given the
    Ambazonia people hope, that soon and very soon the occupation of Ambazonia is coming to an end.