League of Nations mandate
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A League of Nations mandate refers to several territories established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, 28 June 1919. Upon the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations in late 1945, the mandates of the League of Nations (except for South-West Africa) became United Nations Trust Territories, as agreed to earlier at the Yalta Conference.
All the territories subject to League of Nations mandates were previously controlled by states defeated in World War I, principally Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The mandates were fundamentally different from protectorates in that the Mandatory power undertook obligations to the inhabitants of the territory and to the League of Nations.
The process of establishing the mandates consisted of two phases:
- the formal removal of sovereignty of the previously controlling states
- the transfer of mandatory powers to individual states among the Allied Powers.
The exact level of control by the Mandatory power over each mandate was decided on an individual basis by the League of Nations. However, in every case the Mandatory power was forbidden to construct fortifications or raise an army within the mandate and was required to present an annual report on the territory to the League of Nations.
Despite this, mandates were seen as de facto colonies of the empires of the victor nations.
The mandates were divided into three distinct groups based upon the level of development each population had achieved at that time.
 Class A mandates
The first group or Class A mandates were areas formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire deemed to "...have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory." The Class A mandates were
- Iraq (United Kingdom)
- Palestine, including Transjordan (United Kingdom)
- Syria, including Lebanon and Hatay (France)
By 1949 all of these mandates had been replaced by new governments.
 Class B mandates
The second group or Class B mandates which included the region of Central Africa were deemed to require a greater level of control by the mandatory power: "...the Mandatory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion". The mandatory power was forbidden to construct military or naval bases within the mandates. The Class B mandates were
- French Cameroun and British Cameroons (France and the United Kingdom)
- Ruanda-Urundi (Belgium)
- Tanganyika (United Kingdom)
- British Togoland and French Togoland (United Kingdom and France)
 Class C mandates
A final group, the Class C mandates, including South-West Africa and certain of the South Pacific Islands were considered to be "best administered under the laws of the mandatory as integral portions of its territory"
The Class C mandates consisted of
- Nauru (United Kingdom)
- New Guinea (Australia)
- South Pacific Mandate (Japan)
- Samoa (New Zealand)
- South-West Africa (South Africa)
Germany's divestiture of territories was accomplished in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 and allotted to the Allied Powers on May 7, 1919. Ottoman territorial claims were first dispensed with in the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 and later finalized in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. The Turkish territories were allotted to the Allied Powers in the Conference of Sanremo of 1920.
With the exception of Palestine, all of the former mandates are now independent states; the last mandate to gain independence was South-West Africa which gained independence as Namibia in 1990 after a long war with South Africa. (Technically, also with the exception of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau as part of the Pacific Islands Mandate became the last to get independence effective October 1, 1994.)