Cameroon is the country of origin and center of the Bantu
tribes, which in the 2nd century BCE. began an expansion to
the east and south and thus gained widespread knowledge of
growing new crops and extracting iron. The first meeting
with the Europeans was quite short; Fernando Pó christened
the river, whose sandy banks were full of shrimp, for the
"Shrimp River" - of which the name of the country.
The area's entry into a more economically complex
environment was due to the immigration of the Fulani (See
Niger: "Roads of the Sahara" and Senegal: "The States of the
Fulani") - which later became the Adamauma emirate, in the
country's northern and central region.
The German invasion took place in June 1884, when
Representative Gustav Nachtigal signed an agreement to
establish a protectorate with the coastal population king of
the Duals. At the Berlin Conference a year later, Cameroon
was transferred to Germany, but it was not until 1894 that
the Adauma emirate, much sought after by the English, was
formally incorporated into the country.
The protectorate faced problems right from the start: the
Duals were on trade between the coastal areas and the
Yaoundé, which was a hub of relations between the South and
the Adauma emirate that the Germans wanted to control. The
Dualas opposed this and it resulted in a 4 year long and
bloody war. (1897 to 1901).
The Germans acquired the fertile soils of the Africans
and these died in thousands of famines after surviving for
centuries without nutritional problems. France and England
invaded Cameroon in 1918; the French settled on 75% of the
country while the English were allocated the remainder. The
conflicts between the two colonial powers enabled the
formation of popular movements that fought for independence.
In 1945, Cameroon's People's Union (UPC) was formed under
the leadership of Rubem Um Nyobé. The UPC gained wide
popular support and led a series of legal demonstrations,
from 1948 to 1956, when the party was banned.
The nationalist leaders fled to the western part of the
country, which was under English domination, from which a
resistance movement was formed. As the first in southern
Africa, the UPC established liberated zones in the jungle
areas and formed autonomous management structures. The
effectiveness of the resistance movement enabled it to
withstand the siege of the French until 1960. Two years
earlier, Rubem Um Nyobé had died at the death, but the
The UPC's resistance struggle forced France to combine
the armed struggle with political means. Paris created the
Cameroon National Union, (UNC), which was a merger between
two Conservative parties, led by politicians from the
northern areas of Islamic observance. When France accepted
Cameroon's independence, UNC leader Alhaji Ahmadou Ahidjo
took power. UNC continued as a government party with the
approval of the English following a referendum. With the
reunification, a nationalist wish was fulfilled, but it did
not benefit the UPC, whose leadership was for the most part
either underground or in exile.