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The road to Banjul has been a long one for new President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow. Working as a security guard in a branch of Argos in North London in the early 2000s, his journey to high office in his home country involved the removal of longstanding President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in the tiny West African country in a military coup d'etat in 1994.

 But that journey does not end with his victory in 2016's elections. He now plans to return The Gambia to the Commonwealth, following former-President Jammeh's withdrawal from the 52-nation grouping in 2013, calling it a neo-colonial institution. Speaking before his victory, Mr Barrow said: "We will take the country to the Commonwealth and the International Criminal Court".

The move has been welcomed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, whose spokesperson said: "When The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, the heads of government, meeting in Colombo in Sri Lanka that year, noted its decision with regret. We looked forward to the country's eventual return because it was part of our very close knit family and our doors have always remained open."

But the process of rejoining isn't as straightforward as it might first appear, with the Secretariat warning "we have formal processes which have to be undertaken and membership agreed by the 52 heads of government" although it seems unlikely to meet resistance from other members.

Should the country's reapplication be successful, it will join an organisation whose global reach includes 27% of the world's countries, 33% of the world's population (2.2 billion people), 14% of global GDP ($10trillion per year) and 211% of the world's total land area (31million square km).

 

 

 

 

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