This page describes the history of Dikwa, Borno State, Nigeria. Part of the kingdom of Borno in the nineteenth century, this relatively small town became the capital of Rabih (1893-1900) when this Sudanese warlord invaded the Lake Chad area. It subsequently became part of the German protectorate of Kamerun (1902-1916) and, after the First World War, was officially a League of Nations Mandate and United Nations Trusteeship (Northern Cameroons) and was administered by the United Kingdom (1923-1961). The town is now in Nigeria.
I took this photograph of Rabih's fort in July 2010. The fort was built by Rabih to defend his capital and hosts a museum on the history of Rabih and the Emirate of Dikwa.
The document below was found by Gerhard Müller-Kosack in the National Archives of Kaduna, Nigeria. This is a letter of protection (Schutzbrief) given by the German colonisers to the newly appointed Emir of Dikwa, Schehu Sanda in 1903. As in many parts of Africa, the European invaders tried to rule their newly-conquered territories with the help of local rulers such as Schehu Sanda. By choosing a member of the nineteenth-century Kanemi dynasty of Borno, the Germans clearly tried to acquire a certain form of legitimacy in the Lake Chad area. Not surprinsingly, the British made exactly the same choice by keeping a member of the Kamemi dynasty on the throne of Borno.
This first map is a representation of the League of Nations Mandate and United Nations Trusteeship of Southern and Northern Cameroons.
This second map shows the localisation of Dikwa Emirate within Northern Cameroons.
If you want to download the bibliography, you can use Zotero.
- Anyangwe, Carlson, Betrayal of Too Trusting a People: The UN, the UK and the Trust Territory of the Southern Cameroons (Bamenda: Langaa RPCIG, 2009)
- Barkindo, Bawuro, ‘The Mandara Astride the Nigeria-Cameroon Boundary’, in Partitioned Africans: ethnic relations across Africa’s international boundaries 1884-1984, ed. by Anthony Asiwaju (Lagos: Lagos University Press, 1984), pp. 29–49
- Callahan, Michael, Mandates and Empire: The League of Nations and Africa 1914-1931 (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 1998)
- Callahan, Michael, A Sacred Trust: The League of Nations and Africa, 1929-1946 (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2004)
- Chem-Langhëë, Bongfen, The Paradoxes of Self-Determination in the Cameroons Under United Kingdom Administration: The Search for Identity, Well-Being, and Continuity (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2003)
- Cooper, Malcolm, The Northern Cameroons Plebiscite 1960/61: A Memoir with Photo Archive (Electronic ISBN Publication: Mandaras Publishing, 2010)
- Damis, Fritz, Auf Dem Moraberge: Erinnerungen an Die Kämpfe Der 3. Kompanie Der Ehemaligen Kaiserlichen Schutztruppe Für Kamerun. Verein Ehemaliger Angehöriger Der Kaiserlichen Schutztruppe Für Kamerun (Berlin: Mandaras Publishing, 1929)
- Digre, Brian, Imperialism’s New Clothes: the Repartition of Tropical Africa, 1914-1919 (New York: Lang, 1990)
- Fanso, Verkijika, ‘Interrelationships and Movements in the Border Zone Before and After the Imposition of the Cameroon-Nigeria Boundary’, in Frontières plurielles, frontières conflictuelles en Afrique subsaharienne: actes du colloque États et frontières en Afrique subsaharienne, Aix-en-Provence, 7-9 mai 1998, 2000, pp. 359–372
- ---, ‘Traditional Frontiers and National Integration in Cameroon’, in Cameroun: Pluralisme culturel et convivialité. Actes du colloque, Université de Yaoundé, Cameroun, 1996, p. 51
- ---, ‘Trans-frontier Relations and Resistance to Cameroun-Nigeria Colonial Boundaries, 1916-1945’ (Yaounde, 1982)
- Great, Britain, Report by His Britannic Majesty’s Government on the Administration Under Mandate of the British Cameroons for the Year 1924. [With a Map.] (pp. 51. Geneva, 1925)
- International Court of Justice, ‘Counter-Memorial Submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, 1962
- ---, ‘Memorial of the Government of the Federal Republic of Cameroon’, 1961
- ---, ‘Summary of the Judgment of 2 December 1963 in the Case Concerning the Northern Cameroons (Cameroon V. United Kingdom)’, 1963
- Johnson, D. H. N., ‘The Case Concerning the Northern Cameroons’, The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 13 (1964), 1143–1192
- League, of Nations, British Mandate for the Cameroons (Geneva: League of Nations, 1922)
- Lees, Arthur, The Cameroon Diary of Arthur Lees 1914-915: An Account of the Beginning of the Mora Campaign from the British Side, ed. by Dan Robinson (Mora: Mandaras Publishing, 1914)
- Moberly, Frederick, History of the Great War: Military Operations, Togoland & Cameroons 1914-16 (London: Macmillan, 1931)
- Oloa Zambo, Anicet, L’affaire Du Cameroun Septentrional: Cameroun, Royaume-Uni (Paris: l’Harmattan, 2006)
- Osuntokun, Akinjide, Nigeria in the First World War (London: Longman, 1979)
- Prescott, J.R.V., ‘The Evolution of the Anglo-French Inter-Cameroons Boundary’, The Nigerian Geographical Journal, 5 (1962), 103–20
- Pungong, Victor, The United Nations in the Political Evolution of Cameroon (Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 1995)
- Sharwood-Smith, Bryan, “But Always as Friends”: Northern Nigeria and the Cameroons, 1921-1957 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1969)
- Sklar, Richard, Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2004)
- United Nations, ‘The Future of the Trust Territory of the Cameroons Under United Kingdom Administration’, 1959, A/RES/1350(XIII)
- United Nations. Commissioner for the Supervision of the Plebiscites in the Southern and Northern Parts of the Trust Territory of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Administration. creator, Report of the United Nations Commissioner for the Supervision of the Plebiscites in the Southern and Northern Parts of the Trust Territory of the Cameroons Under United Kingdom Administration. ([New York: Trusteeship Council, United Nations, 1961)
- Vaughan, James H., ‘Culture, History, and Grass-Roots Politics in a Northern Cameroons Kingdom’, American Anthropologist, New Series, 66 (1964), 1078–1095
- Yearwood, Peter, ‘From Lines on Maps to National Boundaries: The Case of Northern Nigeria and Cameroun’, in Maps and Africa : proceedings of a colloquium at the University of Aberdeen, April 1993, ed. by Jeffrey Stone (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University African Studies Group, 1994), pp. 36–42
- ---, ‘Great Britain and the Repartition of Africa, 1914–19’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 18 (1990), 316–341
- ---, ‘The Reunification of Borno, 1914-1918’, Borno Museum Society Newsletter, 25 (1995), 25–45
- ---, ‘“In a Casual Way with a Blue Pencil”: British Policy and the Partition of Kamerun, 1914-1919’, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines, 27 (1993), 218–244