At the end of the first world war the Great Powers agreed to set up the League of Nations (successor was the United Nations). One of the first questions this body had to deal with was the fate of the German colonies in Africa and the Pacific; and the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire. All of them had been occupied by either Britain or France. It was agreed that although no permanent territorial gains should be made by the victorious powers they should look after the German Colonies under the supervision of the League. The League resolution was called a Mandate. In practice they were added to the colonies of the French, Belgian and British empires.

In Africa Togoland and Kamerun were split between Britain and France. Britain added a bit of Togoland to Gold Coast (now Ghana). Part of Kamerun went to Britain and was ruled with Nigeria; the other larger part went to France as part of French Equatorial Africa. Sudwestafrika went to South Africa. German East Africa went to Britain and was renamed Tanganyika. The German territory of Ruanda-Urundi was given to Belgium.

In the Pacific some German Islands were given to Japan. The other main territory was in Papua and this was given to Australia and added to Australia's colony of New Guinea.

The other colonial question was what to do about the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire. They were distributed to Britain and France. France got Syria and separated off Lebanon. Britain got: Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq.

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Last revised 7/10/11


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