This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 13 February 2019. Transport and the Village: Findings from African Village-Level Travel and Transport Surveys and Related Studies PDF article is about the country.
Location of Cameroon on the globe. French and English are the official languages of Cameroon. The country is often referred to as « Africa in miniature » for its geological and cultural diversity. Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates. The territory of present-day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic Era.
Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and partially Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population. The Bamum tribe have a writing system, known as Bamum script or Shu Mom.
With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. The British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria. Natives complained that this made them a neglected « colony of a colony ». Nigerian migrant workers flocked to Southern Cameroons, ending forced labour altogether but angering the local natives, who felt swamped. This prompted a long guerrilla war and the assassination of the party’s leader, Ruben Um Nyobé. Former president Ahmadou Ahidjo ruled from 1960 until 1982. On 1 January 1960, French Cameroun gained independence from France under President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
On 1 October 1961, the formerly British Southern Cameroons gained independence voted by vote of the UN General Assembly and joined with French Cameroun to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. 1 September 1966 and in 1972, the federal system of government was abolished in favour of a United Republic of Cameroon, headed from Yaoundé. Ahidjo stepped down on 4 November 1982 and left power to his constitutional successor, Paul Biya. However, Ahidjo remained in control of the CNU and tried to run the country from behind the scenes until Biya and his allies pressured him into resigning.
An economic crisis took effect in the mid-1980s to late 1990s as a result of international economic conditions, drought, falling petroleum prices, and years of corruption, mismanagement, and cronyism. In June 2006, talks concerning a territorial dispute over the Bakassi peninsula were resolved. In February 2008, Cameroon experienced its worst violence in 15 years when a transport union strike in Douala escalated into violent protests in 31 municipal areas. In May 2014, in the wake of the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping, presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Idriss Déby of Chad announced they are waging war on Boko Haram, and deployed troops to the Nigerian border. Since November 2016, protesters from the predominantly English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of the country have been campaigning for continued use of the English language in schools and courts. People were killed and hundreds jailed as a result of these protests. The President of Cameroon is elected and creates policy, administers government agencies, commands the armed forces, negotiates and ratifies treaties, and declares a state of emergency.
The body consists of 180 members who are elected for five-year terms and meet three times per year. Laws are passed on a majority vote. Rarely has the assembly changed or blocked legislation proposed by the president. The 1996 constitution establishes a second house of parliament, the 100-seat Senate, was established in April 2013 and is headed by a President of the Senate who is the constitutional successor in case of untimely vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic. Cameroon’s legal system is largely based on French civil law with common law influences. Although nominally independent, the judiciary falls under the authority of the executive’s Ministry of Justice.
Cameroon is viewed as rife with corruption at all levels of government. 2012, Transparency International placed Cameroon at number 144 on a list of 176 countries ranked from least to most corrupt. A statue of a chief in Bana, West Region. Human rights organisations accuse police and military forces of mistreating and even torturing criminal suspects, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, and political activists. Numerous regional political groups have since formed. Biya and his party have maintained control of the presidency and the National Assembly in national elections, which rivals contend were unfair.
Human rights organisations allege that the government suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups by preventing demonstrations, disrupting meetings, and arresting opposition leaders and journalists. Freedom House ranks Cameroon as « not free » in terms of political rights and civil liberties. The last parliamentary elections were held on 30 September 2013. Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. President Biya has engaged in a decades-long clash with the government of Nigeria over possession of the oil rich Bakassi peninsula.