This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2012)
Anthem: God Save the King/Queen
|Status||Mandate of the United Kingdom|
Duaka, Oroko, Grassfields, Fula, Kanuri widely spoken
Christianity (southern area)|
Islam (northern area)
|Historical era||World War I|
• Kamerun partitioned
|July 20 1922|
|October 1 1961|
|Currency||British West Africa pound|
|ISO 3166 code||CM|
|Today part of||
League of Nations Mandate
During World War I, it was occupied by British, French and Belgian troops, and a later League of Nations Mandate to Great Britain and France by the League of Nations in 1922. The French mandate was known as Cameroun and the British territory was administered as two areas, Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons. Northern Cameroons consisted of two non-contiguous sections, divided by a point where the Nigerian and Cameroun borders met. In the 1930s, most of the white population consisted of Germans with Nazi sympathies; they were interned in British camps starting in June 1940. The native population of 400,000 showed little interest in volunteering for the British forces; only 3,500 men did so.
When the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946, most of the mandate territories were reclassified as UN trust territories, henceforth administered through the UN Trusteeship Council. The object of trusteeship was to prepare the lands for eventual independence. The United Nations approved the Trusteeship Agreements for British Cameroons to be governed by Britain on 6 December 1946.
French Cameroun became independent, as Cameroun or Cameroon, in January 1960, and Nigeria was scheduled for independence later that same year, which raised question of what to do with the British territory. After some discussion (which had been going on since 1959), a plebiscite was agreed to, and held on 11 February 1961. The Muslim-majority Northern area opted for union with Nigeria, and the Southern area voted to join Cameroon.
Northern Cameroons became the Sardauna Province of Northern Nigeria on 31 May 1961, while Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon, a constituent state of the Federal Republic of Cameroon later that year on 1 October 1961.
Media related to British Cameroons at Wikimedia Commons
- The road to the unitary state of Cameroon 1959-1972
- National Service Memoirs of a National Serviceman who served in the British Cameroons at the time of the vote to join with the French Cameroons or Nigeria