History, European Rule
Southern Cameroons, Benue River, German colony, League of Nations, fifths
Transportation difficulties and local resistance slowed German development of the area, but they managed to cultivate large cacao, palm, and rubber plantations. They also built roads and began the construction of a railroad and the port of Douala on the Atlantic coast.
Anglo-French forces invaded the German colony in 1916. In 1919 one-fifth of the territory, which was contiguous with eastern Nigeria, was assigned to Britain, and the remaining four-fifths were assigned to France as mandates under the League of Nations.
The British Cameroons consisted of the Northern and Southern Cameroons, which were separated by a 72-km (45-mi) strip along the Benue River. The northern territory, peopled by tribes of Sudanese origin, was always administered as a part of Northern Nigeria. The Southern Cameroons, peopled by a variety of tribes, was administered as part of the Nigerian federation but had a locally elected legislature. The French Cameroons was administered as a separate territory. Neither area, however, experienced much social or economic progress.
Article key phrases: