Timeline: Cameroon

BBC News Online, Monday 23 July 2001, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK

1520—Portuguese set up sugar plantations and begin slave trade in Cameroon.

1600s—Dutch take over slave trade from Portuguese.

1884—Germans extend protectorate over Cameroon.

1916—British and French troops force Germans to leave Cameroon.

1919—London Declaration divides Cameroon into a British administrative zone (20 per cent of the land, divided into Northern and Southern Cameroons) and a French one (80 per cent).

1922—League of Nations confers mandates on Britain and France for their respective administrative zones.

1946—British and French mandates renewed as UN trusteeships.


[Ahmadou Ahidjou]
Independence leader: Ahmadou Ahidjou
1958—French Cameroon granted self-government with Ahmadou Ahidjou as prime minister.

1960—French Cameroon granted independence and becomes the Republic of Cameroon with Ahidjou as president.

1961—Following a UN-sponsored referendum, the (British) Southern Cameroons join the Republic of Cameroon to become the Federal Republic of Cameroon, while Northern Cameroons join Nigeria.

1961-63—Large-scale insurrection, believed to have been orchestrated by the Cameroonian People's Party, put down with the help of French forces.

1966—National Cameroonian Union formed out of six major parties and becomes the sole legal party.

1972—Cameroon becomes a unitary state following a national referendum and is renamed the United Republic of Cameroon.

The Paul Biya era

1982—Prime Minister Paul Biya succeeds Ahidjou, who resigns.

1983—Ahidjou goes into exile after Biya accuses him of masterminding a coup.

1984—Biya elected to his first full term as president, changes the country's name to the Republic of Cameroon.

1986—Discharge of poisonous gases from Lake Nios kills nearly 2,000 people.

1992 October—Biya re-elected in Cameroon's first multiparty presidential election.

1994—Fighting between Cameroon and Nigeria flares up over disputed oil-rich Bakassa Peninsula.

1996 January-May—Cameroonian-Nigerian border clashes.

1996 May—Cameroon and Nigeria agree to UN mediation over Bakassa Peninsula.

1997 May—Biya's party, the Cameroon National Democratic Movement (formerly the National Cameroonian Union), wins a majority of seats in parliament amid allegations of irregularities.

1997 October—Biya re-elected president in ballot that is boycotted by main opposition parties.

1998—Cameroon classed as the most corrupt country in the world by business monitor Transparency International.

2000 June—World Bank approves funding for oil and pipeline project in Cameroon and Chad despite strong criticism from environmental and human rights activists.

2000 October—Roman Catholic Church in Cameroon denounces corruption in the country, saying it has permeated all levels of society.