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French Cameroons

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Title: French Cameroons  
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Subject: French Equatorial Africa, History of Cameroon, United Nations Trust Territories, History of Central Africa, French West India Company
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French Cameroons

French Cameroons
Mandate of France



La Marseillaise  •  O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers
(instrumental only)
Capital Yaoundé
Languages French (official)
Ewondo, Fula, Basaa, Bulu, Bamum widely spoken
Religion Christianity, Bwiti, Islam
Government Mandate
Historical era 20th century
 -  Kamerun partitioned July 20, 1920
 -  Integration into Cameroon and British Cameroons October 1, 1960
Currency French franc (1918–45)
CFA franc (1945–61)

French Cameroons (French: Cameroun), or Cameroun, was a French colonial Mandate territory in French Equatorial Africa, now part of Cameroon.


Colony and mandate

The area of present-day Cameroon was claimed by Germany as a protectorate during the "Scramble for Africa" at the end of the 19th century. During World War I, it was occupied by French and Belgian troops.

In 1922 it was mandated to Great Britain and France by the League of Nations. The French mandate was known as Cameroun, in French West Africa. The British mandate was administered as two territories, Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons in British West Africa. British Northern Cameroons consisted of two non-contiguous sections, divided by where the Nigerian and Cameroun borders met.


French Cameroun became independent 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 (British Cameroons referendum) 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.[1]

Northern Cameroons became a region of Nigeria on 31 May 1961, while Southern Cameroons became part of Cameroon on 1 October. In the meantime, the area was administered as a French Colony, in French West Africa.

Cameroon 1901–1972
  German Kamerun
  British Cameroons
  French Cameroun
  Republic of Cameroon

See also


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p177 ISBN 0-19-829645-2

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