The name Cameroon derives from camaráes (prawns), introduced by Portuguese navigators. Called Kamerun in German and Cameroun in French, the estuary was later called the Cameroons River by British navigators. The Duala people living there were traders, selling slaves and later palm oil to Europeans. On 12 July 1884 they signed a treaty establishing German rule over Kamerun. Originally covering the Duala’s territory on the Wouri, this German colony later expanded to cover a large area inland, home to a number of African peoples. In the First World War Allied forces occupied the territory which was partitioned between France and Britain. British Cameroons consisted of British Southern Cameroons and British Northern Cameroons, adjoining Nigeria. France’s mandated territory of Cameroun occupied most of the former German colony. The Dualas continued to take the lead in anti-colonial protest.
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