Cameroon profile

A chronology of key events:
Cameroonian President Ahmadou Ahidjo speaking in February 1971 Ahmadou Ahidjo was Cameroon's first post-independence leader

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

1600s - Dutch take over slave trade from Portuguese.

1884 - Cameroon becomes the German colony of Kamerun.

1911 - Under the Treaty of Fez - signed to settle the Franco-German conflict over Morocco, the Agadir Crisis - France cedes territories to the east and south to Cameroon (known as "Neukamerun").

1916 - British and French troops force Germans to leave Cameroon. Neukamerun is separated from Cameroon again.

1919 - London Declaration divides Cameroon into French (80%) and British administrative zones (20%). The British zone is divided into Northern and Southern Cameroons.

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

1946 - British and French mandates renewed as UN trusteeships.

Independence

1958 - French Cameroon granted self-government with Ahmadou Ahidjo as prime minister.

1960 - French Cameroon granted independence and becomes the Republic of Cameroon with Ahidjo 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.

Degassing pipe in Lake Nyos, Cameroon, seen in October 2001 A 1986 release of carbon dioxide from Lake Nyos - seen being degassed in 2001 - killed 1,700 people

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.

Paul Biya era

1982 - Prime Minister Paul Biya succeeds Ahidjo, who resigns.

1983 - Ahidjo 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 Nyos kills about 1,700 people.

1992 October - Biya re-elected in Cameroon's first multi-party 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.

Corruption

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, saying it has permeated all levels of society.

A Nigerian soldier presents a flag after lowering it to Nigerian Justice Minister Bayo Ojo to signify the country's final withdrawal from the Bakassi Peninsula on 14 August 2006 Nigerian soldiers withdrew from the Bakassi peninsula in 2006, four years after the International Court of Justice ruled in favour of Cameroon in the two countries' territorial dispute

2001 June - Fears for Cameroon's environment increase, with Global Forest Watch reporting that 80% of the country's indigenous forests have been allocated for logging.

2001 October - Growing tension between Biya government and separatists lobbying on behalf of country's 5m English-speakers. Unrest results in three deaths, several arrests.

2002 July - Parliamentary and municipal elections; opposition claims fraud and vote-rigging.

Bakassi ruling

2002 October - Ruling by International Court of Justice (ICJ) gives sovereignty of oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon. But Nigeria, whose forces occupy the area, rejects the ruling.

2003 December - Nigeria hands over 32 villages to Cameroon as part of the 2002 ICJ border deal. In January 2004 both countries agree to mount joint border patrols.

2004 September - Nigeria fails to meet a deadline to hand over Bakassi.

2004 November - Paul Biya wins new seven-year term as president.

2006 June - Nigeria agrees to withdraw its troops from the Bakassi peninsula to settle its long-running border dispute with Cameroon. The breakthrough comes at a UN-mediated summit.

The Paris Club of major lending nations agrees to cancel almost all of Cameroon's $3.5bn debt.

2006 August - A ceremony marks the transfer of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon after Nigeria completes its troop withdrawal from the area.

2006 December - Up to 30,000 refugees fleeing conflicts in Chad and the Central African Republic have crossed into east Cameroon over the past 18 months, the UN refugee agency UNHCR reports.

2007 November - Suspected Nigerian militants kill 21 Cameroon soldiers in Bakassi Peninsula.

Nigerian senate rejects Nigeria-Cameroon agreement for hand-over of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

Constitution amended

2008 January - Opposition leaders slam President Biya's New Year message hinting at changing constitution to extend president's term in office.

Cameroonian soldiers patrol on December 15, 2012 during a field trip organized for the press at Bouba N'Djidda National Park in northern Cameroon Cameroon vowed a tough approach on poaching after hundreds of elephants were massacred in Bouba Njida National Park in 2012

2008 February - A nationwide transport strike in protest at fuel costs turns into a series of anti-government demonstrations in the capital, Yaounde, leaving at least 17 dead.

2008 April - Parliament amends the constitution to allow President Biya to run for a third term in 2011. The opposition condemns the move as a "constitutional coup".

2008 October - Nigeria and Cameroon agree to work together to protect their land and sea border from attacks by militants and pirates.

2009 March - Pope visits, says peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Cameroon should be seen as an example to other African nations.

2010 September - Senior security officials are sacked weeks after rumours of an attempted coup.

2011 January - Cameroon secures Chinese loan to build deep sea port at Kribi, terminal of an oil pipeline from Chad.

2011 October- Paul Biya wins a landslide re-election as president, officially taking 78% of the vote. His opponents reject the result, alleging widespread fraud.

2012 February - Hundreds of elephants are slaughtered in Bouba Njida national park in a wave of ivory poaching blamed on Sudanese and Chadian gangs.

2012 September - Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya is jailed for embezzling $29m to be used as down-payment on a presidential plane.

2012 November - President Biya celebrates 30 years in power as riot police disperse an opposition protest.

2013 February - A French family of seven is kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram near the Nigerian border, and released two months later. France denies paying a ransom.

2013 October - Legislative elections. President Biya's party retains a majority in parliament.

2014 January - A French priest kidnapped by Islamist gunmen in the far north of Cameroon in November is freed.

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