British Cameroon or British Cameroons was a British Mandate territory in British West Africa. Today, the territory forms parts of Northern Nigeria in West Africa and Cameroon in Central Africa.
The area of present-day Cameroon was claimed by Germany as a protectorate during the "Scramble for Africa" at the end of the 19th century. The German Empire named the territory Kamerun. During the First World War, it was occupied by British, French and Belgian troops, and a later League of Nations Mandate to Great Britain and France by the League of Nations in 1922. The French mandate was known as Cameroun and the British territory was administered as two areas, Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons. Northern Cameroons consisted of two non-contiguous sections, divided by a point where the Nigerian and Cameroun borders met.
French Cameroun became independent, as Cameroun or Cameroon, in January 1960, and Nigeria was scheduled for independence later that same year, which raised question of what to do with the British territory. After some discussion (which had been going on since 1959), a plebiscite was agreed to and held on 11 February 1961. The Muslim-majority Northern area opted for union with Nigeria, and the Southern area voted to join Cameroon.
Northern Cameroons became the Sardauna Province of Northern Nigeria on 31 May 1961, while Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon, a constituent state of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, later that year on 1 October 1961.