Gambia to rejoin The Commonwealth after four years

  • Gambia to rejoin The Commonwealth after four years

Gambia to rejoin The Commonwealth after four years

Jammeh withdrew his nation from the group in 2013, calling it "an extension of colonialism", but Johnson has his own history of controversy with Britain's former territories in Africa.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who notoriously sparked fury over comments about Africans made when he worked as a journalist, will visit the continent for the first time as minister this week.

Johnson said ahead of the visit he was "very pleased that Gambia wants to rejoin the Commonwealth and we will ensure this happens in the coming months". "The strength of our partnerships show that global Britain is growing in influence and activity around the world".

Gambia was one of three African countries that informed the United Nations chief previous year they were withdrawing from the court that presses charges against alleged perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Gambia has also just notified the United Nations it will rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC), reversing another controversial Jammeh move from previous year.

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Mr. Johnson will become the first Foreign Secretary to visit Gambia to mark the country's return to the Commonwealth.

However experts point out that numerous current investigations - in the Central African Republic, Uganda, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo - were referred to the ICC by the governments of those states.

Gambian president Adama Barrow. Local dignitaries may include former Vice-President Alhagie Saihou Sabally, who local media said had returned to the country on Monday after 22 years in exile. Johnson will also travel to Ghana as part of his two-day official trip in West Africa this week.

Barrow, who defeated the long-serving president Yahya Jammeh in December's election, swore to lead the country' toward democracy.