The Commonwealth has welcomed The Gambia back as a member, following the democratic election of former estate agent Adama Barrow as president.
A flag-raising ceremony is being held at the Commonwealth headquarters in central London to mark the occasion, as this tweet shows:
The Gambia quit the Commonwealth under authoritarian ruler Yahya Jammeh, who dismissed it as an “extension of colonialism”.
Its application for readmission was backed by all 52 member states, who “welcome back their brothers and sisters to again play their full part in the Commonwealth family”, the body’s secretary-general, Patricia Scotland, said.
The Gambia’s ambassador in London, Francis Blain, said the the West African state looked forward to contributing and benefiting from the “collective wisdom” of the nations which make up the body, AFP news agency reports.
Zimbabwe is also considering reapplying for membership of the Commonwealth, after President Emmerson Mnangagwa took office late last year.
It left the Commonwealth in 2003, after then-ruler Robert Mugabe accused the body of being hijacked by the UK and plotting against his government.
The Commonwealth had earlier suspended Zimbabwe’s membership, following presidential elections marred by violence and allegations of rigging.
Source – AFP