Bertoua was created in the 19th century by the Gbaya warriors (commonly called Mbaya or Baya) from the area of ​​present-day Central Africa.
It seems that they were fleeing the Arab and Nubian raids which, in the region of Bornou, set in motion towards the South the black tribes. Bertoua was originally a Gbaya kingdom ruled by King Mbartoua killed in 1903 following clashes with the German colonial army.
This city owes its name to King Mbartoua. The settlers preferred the name Bertoua to that of Mbartoua,
a word used in Gbaya to designate something enormous or colossal and which signifies a large rock which cannot pass through the door of a house.
Because according to oral sources, Mbartoua was a real Herculean who impressed by his size and his build.
Very hostile to the colonizers, he shone with his supernatural power which allowed him to disappear and his ability
to make difficult the so-called civilizing mission of Westerners in this part of the country. Which earned him death. It was not until the aftermath of 1960 that the city of Bertoua became a district, at the same time the capital
of the department and of the Eastern region. From that moment, it began to play the role of administrative and economic pole.
Like many cities in the country, Bertoua benefited from the development of an Urban Plan in 1972.
This city had the immense honor of hosting the Agropastoral Comice in 1980 which made it possible to open several routes.
Finally, it should be noted that The Bertoua 2e Arrondissement Municipality houses almost all of the public services.
The military base, the seat of the Diocese and the residence of the chief of canton are on its territory.  From an administrative point of view, since its creation, the status of the city of Bertoua has constantly changed.
This is how we went from the traditional entity in 1826 to an Urban Community created by Presidential Decree N ° 2008/016 of January 17, 2008
and comprising two arrondissement communes, those of Bertoua 1er and Bertoua 2e . But, well before that,
Bertoua was part in 1935 of Lom and Kadei which at the moment formed a single administrative unit.

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