Cameroon profileA chronology of key events:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boko Haram incursions
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.
2014 May - Cameroon deploys about 1,000 troops to the border with northern Nigeria to counter a rising threat of incursions and kidnappings by Boko Haram militants.
2014 October - Twenty-seven hostages kidnapped by Boko Haram in Cameroon earlier in the year, including 10 Chinese workers and the wife of the deputy prime minister, are freed.