British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson recently visited the Gambia where he announced that the western African country will return to the Commonwealth of nations.
Johnson stated that the Gambia will be reinitiated into the commonwealth “as fast as possible”.
“We are going to admit them as fast as possible. Last night I talked to the Commonwealth secretary general, and she is determined to speed it up and get it done as soon as possible,” Johnson told reporters after the meeting.
The Gambia which was ruled by Yahya Jammeh for 21 years recently emerged from the former leader’s strict rule. He subsequently fled the Gambia for Equatorial Guinea when regional blocs moved swiftly to ensure the long-time leader respected the decision of the people in their election of Adama Barrow as the new president of Gambia.
In 2013, President Jammeh pulled the Gambia out of the Commonwealth of nations, an association which consists mostly of former colonies of Great Britain and Britain itself. Jammeh’s reason for pulling out of the Commonwealth was based on his notion that the organisation is a neocolonial institution.
Jammeh who withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth for being a “neocolonial” institution also had plans to withdraw Gambia from the International Criminal Court(ICC). According to the strongman, the ICC sought only to prosecute Africans while turning a blind eye to western defaulters.
The Gambian presidency recently announced that the western African nation will remain in the ICC, reversing former President Jammeh’s decision to have the western African nation withdrawn from the ICC.
The commonwealth confirmed the Gambia’s decision to return, in a statement which was released on Tuesday. It reads:
“We welcome any effort being made by the newly democratically elected government of The Gambia to try to re-join the Commonwealth,
“Should it decide to apply, we have formal processes which have to be undertaken and membership agreed by the 52 heads of government”.
Boris Johnson’s trip to the Gambia is the first of his visit to Africa as foreign Minister. Boris Johnson who has been accused of making racist remarks concerning Africans was appointed a foreign Minister by new British PM, Theresa May in the wake of the Brexit fiasco.