Rose Frii-Manyi Anjoh, Joseph Lon Nfi


The 1961 UN-organised Plebiscite provoked serious ethnic tension, bitterness and calls from some quarters for the partition of the British Southern Cameroons. The ethnic groups that voted for independence with Nigeria were not satisfied with the results of the plebiscite and were not ready to join the Republic of Cameroon. They clamoured for the partition of the British Southern Cameroons following the voting patterns so that those who voted for Nigeria could join Nigeria freely. This article based on archival and secondary sources attempts a survey of the crisis, the requests by the defeated ethnic groups for the partition of the British Southern Cameroons and the response of the Yaoundé authorities and the United Nations. The study argues that the requests for the partition of the Southern Cameroons were made out of fear that the reunified Cameroon could lead to the domination and exploitation of the coastal ethnic groups by the more dynamic and land grabbing ethnic groups of the Bamenda Grassfields and not out of some phobia for the French Cameroonians.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



Southern Cameroons, plebiscite, reunification, ethnic tension, petitions


Aka, E.A (2000). The British Southern Cameroons, 1922-1961: A Study in Colonialism and Underdevelopment, Plattville, Nkemji Global Tech.

Cameroons Champion, 2 February 15, 1961. NAB

Cameroons Champion, 7 February, 1961.NAB

Cameroons Champion, 17 February 1961.NAB

Cameroons Champion, 11 March 1961. NAB

Chem-Langhëë, B (1976). "The Kamerun Plebiscites 1959-1961: Perception and Strategies", PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia.

Ebune, J.B (1992). The Growth of Political Parties in Southern Cameroons, 1916-1960, Yaounde, CEPER.

File no.nw/vc/a (1959), Plebiscite Campaigns, Regional Archives Bamenda.

Fanso, V.G (1991), Cameroon History for Secondary Schools and Colleges: vol. 2 the Colonial and Post-Colonial Periods, London, Macmillan.

Johnson,W (1970). The Cameroon Federation, Political Integration in a Fragmentary Society, New Jersey, Princeton University Press

Mbile, N.N (2000). Cameroon Political Story: Memories of an Authentic Eyewitness, Limbe, Presprint

Nfi, J.L (2014), The Reunification Debate in British Southern Cameroons: The Role of French Cameroon Immigrants. Bamenda: Langaa Research and Publishing CIG.

--------------- (2015), Nigerians on Mission in the British Southern Cameroons, Berlin, Galda Verlag.

Ngoh, V.J (1987), Cameroon 1884-1985: A Hundred Years of History, Limbe, Navi-Group Publication

--------------- (2001), Southern Cameroons, 1922-1961: A Constitutional History, Ashgate, Ashgate Publishing Company

Percival, J (2008). The 1961 Plebiscite: Choice or Betrayal. Bamenda, Langaa Research and Publishing CIG

Rubin, Neville (1971), Cameroun: An African federation, London, Pall Mall Press Limited.

Rudin, H.R (1968). Germans in the Cameroons, 1884-1914: A Case Study in Modern Imperialism. Yale: Yale University Press.

United Nations, Trusteeship Council, T/PET, 21 March, 1961. NAB.

United Nations, Trusteeship Council, Petition from the Balondo Speaking People's Convention Concerning the Cameroons under U.K. Administration, Kumba 27 February 1961. NAB.

Le Vine, Victor T (1964), The Cameroons: from Mandate to Independence, Los Angeles, University of California Press.


Copyright (c) 2018 Rose Frii-Manyi Anjoh, Joseph Lon Nfi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2016 - 2023. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter