Ambazonia Defeats Cameroun in American Courts! What is going on?
Blessed Mua AmbaNews24, Chicago USA
Over the last three years, Emmanuel Nsahlie has brought at
least ten cases against Ambazonian leaders in American courts and lost all. Why?
AmbaNews24 uncovers what is going on.
Since the Ambazonian liberation movement metamorphosed into
an armed conflict, Cameroun desperately resorted to suing Ambazonians resident
in the United States. The lawyer on attack has been Nsahlai who has attempted
using the ‘victims’ tag to shield the real plaintiffs. Unfortunately for the barrister,
public statements and relationships between him and the Cameroun government
show that the Yaoundé regime funds and supports the cases.
Prominent and highly mediatized cases are cases against
Tapang Ivo Tanku who doubles as the Spokesperson and Deputy Defense Chief of
the Ambazonian Defense Forces (ADF). The reason for purposefully targeting the
ADF is expressed in a report by The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data
(ACLED), a US based think tank. ACLED describes the ADF as the “largest
Ambazonian separatist group …” and “in the absence of any ceasefire between the
Ambazonia Defense Forces and the military, Cameroon is unlikely to see
sustained drop in violence.”
Considering the ADF’s strength, organization, funding, and
overall deployment, the Cameroun government is bent on destroying the ADF’s
invincibility and focus. Despite these sustained legal and public relations
attacks, the ADF remains strong and wins all legal battles for the reasons
Doctrine of the
Separation of Powers
Nsahlai has entered the American courts with the Cameroun
mindset where the executive controls the judiciary. To his greatest shock,
American judges have reminded him that they have no respect for what Etoudi
During the USA Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Amb.
Tibor Nagy’s last visit to Yaoundé, Cameroun’s capital, authorities and
politicians pleaded that the American government should repatriate all
Ambazonian leaders living in the United States. Nagy disappointed them by
asking for probable evidence that these leaders have violated American laws. He
further warned that if they violated American law, American courts will try
them, not Camerounian courts.
The separation of powers is the fundamental hallmark of
every democracy and the United States is undoubtedly the beacon of a unique democracy
around the world. Tibor Nagy’s statement vividly demonstrated the extent to
which the separation of powers protects every branch of government from
encroachment, interference, or domination by another branch of government. In
2008, the Supreme Court of the United States contextualized and reiterated the
essence of the doctrine of the separation of powers when they rejected an
application from the then President Bush to hold an accused in captivity.
The Court ruled that “while the doctrine of separation of
powers protects each branch of government against unwarranted encroachment by
other branches, these limitations exist not for the benefit of each branch as
such but as a means of safeguarding the rights of individuals.”
The United States legal system manifestly prioritizes
individual protections over political power. It is therefore, impossible to
imagine Nagy or Donald Trump forcing the American Courts to forcibly deport
Tapang Ivo Tanku and others to Cameroun. Similarly, the courts cannot oblige
the government to designate Tapang Ivo or the ADF as terrorists.
The Supreme Court nicely captured this impossibility in the
case of New York v. United States when it held that “the Constitution’s
division of power among the three Branches is violated where one Branch invades
the territory of another, whether or not the encroached upon Branch approves
On these grounds, cases Nsahlai filed against the United
States government praying the courts to oblige “the U.S government” to
designate the ADF and Tapang as terrorists have been, and shall remain dead on
According to the U.S Immigration Act, terrorist
organizations include “any organizations that the Secretary of State [Minister
of Foreign Affairs] has specifically designated by name upon finding that it
engages in terrorist activities.” Also, the Secretary of Homeland [Minister of
Territorial Administration] in consultation” with the Attorney General can
exclude a group from the terrorist list.
Though Nsahlai has been filing lawsuits in the United States
since 2017 on charges of terrorism, he continues to lose because these cases
fall under the jurisdiction of the executive power and not the judiciary.
According to the political question doctrine, issues like designating an entity
or an individual as a “terrorist” fall entirely within the political arms of
government, that is, the executive or the legislative, and not the courts.
cannot, therefore, grant damages to anyone on charges of terrorism when that
person or the organization with whom he militates has not been found by the
executive branch to be a terrorist organization. Nsahlai will have to wait till
such a dream day that the executive branch may designate the ADF as a terrorist
organization before he can successfully bring charges against Tapang Ivo in an
Unfortunately for Nsahlai and his Yaoundé
allies, the Trump’s executive branch holds the Yaoundé regime fundamentally
responsible for turning a peaceful protest into an armed conflict by unleashing
barbaric, blood thirsty heavily armed military men on armless civilians in
2016. Furthermore, the USA is more interested in seeing the conflict resolved
that labelling groups in the conflict – and the party that is standing against
the resolution of the conflict is Cameroun by refusing to go to the negotiation
The Ambazonia Governing Council on its part has been extremely smart. It has not refused negotiations to resolve the conflict; rather, it has asked the United States to be at the table of negotiation under the auspices of the United Nations.
A Recognized Armed
Cameroun’s desire to have the United States designate the
ADF a terrorist organization cannot succeed because under U.S law, acts
committed during war or armed conflicts are exempted from terrorism
classification. The United States government has severally recognized the
existence of an armed conflict between Cameroun and Ambazonia.
If the ADF had begun arm attacks on civilians and Cameroun
infrastructure for months, and the Cameroun government tried to resolve the
problem peacefully to no avail, the Biya regime would have given the Trump
administration reason to designate the ADF a terrorist organization at that
time. Rather, it was the Cameroun government that attacked peaceful civilians,
and thus forced the ADF to rise in in defense of unarmed children. Biya then
blundered by formally declaring war – thereby shutting the doors to terrorism
designation of the ADF in the US State Department.
In addition to recognizing the armed conflict, the
government of the United States stopped more than 17 million USD in military
assistance to Yaoundé and terminated Cameroun’s participation in the USA-Africa
Trade Deal amongst others. Nagy’s recent tweet reiterating that “government
killing of civilians in Camero[u]n is inexcusable. I urge follow-through of
Ngarbuh investigation and many other incidents of this nature” recognizes that the
Camerounn government is an aggressor against kids, and the ADF’s defense of
civilians remains a priority and a necessity.
Cameroun and Nsahlie have the option of stopping all
frivolous lawsuits or have Emmanuel lose his license to practice law in the
United States. If Nsahlie continues filing frivolous lawsuits against
Ambazonians he will end up paying more than the two and half million francs cfa
the Court last ordered him to pay to Tapang Ivo.