Gambia to rejoin Commonwealth, ICC

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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.

In line with the commitment and public pronouncements of his Excellency Mr Adama Barrow, president of the Republic of The Gambia, to rescind the decision of The Gambia's withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, a formal letter to that effect was sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 10th January 2017 by the Hon.

"I am also very pleased that Gambia wants to rejoin the Commonwealth and we will ensure this happens in the coming months", Johnson said.

The Hague-based court, set up in 2002, is often accused of bias against African nations, leading The Gambia, Burundi and South Africa to send notice past year they would no longer recognise the ICC's jurisdiction.

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

The West African state is a popular holiday destination for Britons.

He then took refuge in neighbouring Senegal after Jammeh refused to accept the election result and sought for weeks to cling to power.

Mr Barrow's path to the presidency was not smooth. 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.

Mr Johnson will go on to Ghana for talks with President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday.

The British minister also hailed the December elections in The Gambia and Ghana, saying they "highlight the continuing strengthening of democracy in West Africa".

Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013 under former leader Yahya Jammeh, but he went into exile in January after worldwide pressure to accept his election defeat.

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