Gambia’s Commonwealth exit greeted with dismay

3 Oct 13
The Gambia’s departure from the Commonwealth has been met with ‘dismay and disappointment’ by the association’s secretary-general Kamalash Sharma.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 3 October 2013 

The Gambia’s departure from the Commonwealth has been met with ‘dismay and disappointment’ by the association’s secretary-general Kamalash Sharma.

Yesterday, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said on state TV: ‘The government has withdrawn its membership of the British Commonwealth and decided that the Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism.’

In response, the Commonwealth said: ‘Commonwealth secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma has seen with dismay and disappointment, media coverage on the reported announcement by the government of The Gambia of its withdrawal from the Commonwealth. It was in touch with the Gambian authorities to follow up on the reports to establish the facts clearly.’

A spokesman added: ‘When clarification is received from the government of The Gambia, the  will issue a further statement accordingly.’

In 2003, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe became the first African leader to take his country out of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent countries, which were former British colonies and protectorates.

 

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