British Foreign Secretary Johnson confirms Gambia rejoining Commonwealth

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has confirmed that The Gambia will be rejoining the Commonwealth of nations, a collection of 54 nations made up largely of former British colonies.

In October 2013, The Gambia government under then President Yahya Jammeh withdrew from the Commonwealth, 48 years after joining it. The then Gambia government branded the 54-member grouping, which includes the UK and most of its former colonies, a “neo-colonial institution”.

“The Gambia is going back in the Commonwealth” he said.

Foreign Secretary Johnson was speaking to journalist on Tuesday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel shortly after meeting Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow in Banjul.

He said their discussions were centered on strengthening the bilateral ties between the two nations, saying they come to help as the country is in a very exciting period.

This is the first recorded visit to The Gambia by a Foreign Secretary.

He also said the British government will work with the new Gambian government to restore the long standing bilateral relation that was almost ‘severed’ by the former government of Yahya Jammeh.

He said that they will work with the new government on the country’s educational and infrastructure sectors as well as security among other things.

From Gambia, Johnson will head to Ghana were he will will meet with President Akufo-Addo before wrapping up his two days West Africa trip.