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 3500 men did so.
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 a region of Nigeria on 31 May 1961, while Southern Cameroons became part of Cameroon later that year on 1 October 1961. In the meantime, the area was administered as a United Kingdom Trust Territory.
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