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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negotiating Federalism: How Ready Were Cameroonian Leaders before the February 1961 United Nations Plebiscites?
Author:Awasom, Nicodemus F.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic terms:British Cameroons
State formation
public law
Politics and Government
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
Abstract:From February 1958 to February 1961, Ahmadou Ahidjo, John Ngu Foncha, and the United Nations decided the political future of reunified Cameroon. Ahidjo became the Prime Minister of the French Cameroons in February 1958, and Foncha became Premier of the British Southern Cameroons in January 1959. Both statesmen negotiated the constitutional foundations of reunification leading to the UN plebiscite on 11 February 1961 in which the peoples of the trust territory of the British Southern Cameroons overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Cameroun. However, examination of the chronology and content of the successive meetings between the political elite of the two Cameroons, in the context of domestic and international circumstances, suggests that Anglophone and Francophone leaders were still working out the constitutional basis of a federal form of union between their two territories when the United Nations abruptly stepped in to organize an independent plebiscite. If Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians had had their way, they would have preferred to evolve separately as sovereign entities because of the wide margin of differences that they discovered between themselves and which they knew was difficult to bridge. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French. [ASC Leiden abstract]