News / Africa

Gambia Withdraws from Commonwealth

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh stands outside the Sipopo Conference Center ahead of the opening session of the 17th African Union Summit, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2011. (file photo)Gambian President Yahya Jammeh stands outside the Sipopo Conference Center ahead of the opening session of the 17th African Union Summit, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2011. (file photo)
x
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh stands outside the Sipopo Conference Center ahead of the opening session of the 17th African Union Summit, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2011. (file photo)
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh stands outside the Sipopo Conference Center ahead of the opening session of the 17th African Union Summit, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2011. (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has unilaterally taken his country out of the Commonwealth, becoming the first African leader to do so since President Robert Mugabe took Zimbabwe out in 2003. 

A statement reportedly issued late Wednesday said the “government has withdrawn its membership of the British Commonwealth and decided that the Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any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”.

Gambian-born Sulayman Nyang, senior professor and former chair of the African Studies Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C. said some western governments’ rejection of Jammeh’s anti-gay rhetoric and dismal human rights record might be two reasons behind his decision.

“If he [Jammeh] made this statement, there are two underlying reasons behind the decision. One, in my opinion is the fact that when President Jammeh went to the UN, he came out categorically against the gay movement. So for that reason, he is definitely at loggerheads with the Prime Minister of Great Britain who has been very strong in support of gay groups,” he said.

Some western governments, Britain in particular, has threatened to withhold aid because of Jammeh’s anti-gay stance.

Nyang said the Gambian leader has adopted the old African nationalist position not to kowtow to imperialists.

Addressing parliament last year, Jammeh some western governments of trying to instill gay culture in the Gambia.

“If you are going to give us aid money for men and men or for women and women to marry, please leave it. We don’t need your aid money because as far as I am the President of the Gambia, you will never see that happen in this country,” the Gambian leader said.

Nyang said Jammeh’s notorious human rights record could also another reason for taking his country out of the Commonwealth.

“When all the facts come to light, you are going to see people looking at Jammeh at two levels. Those who are fighting for human rights will tell the story of Jammeh and his dictatorship. So, what I am emphasizing once again is that this decision of Jammeh is also occasioned not only by his state the UN against gay groups, but also because of the fact that he is very much aware of the fact that those who opposed to him are going to connect the dots, and some of those dots will lead him to [to former Liberian President] Charles Taylor and all the dictators in Africa,” he said.

He said even African nationalists such as Ghana’s founding president Kwame Nkrumah never broke away from the Commonwealth.
Butty interview with Nyang
Butty interview with Nyangi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“The only time Kwame Nkrumah only had problem was when [former British] Prime Minister [Harold] Wilson gave that famous, unacceptable statement to Africans at the time. And there were some Africans who were beginning to have the idea that if Wilson is not willing to suppress the government of Ian Smith in Southern Rhodesia, then why should we be dancing to the British music?” Nyang said.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Lloyd Suwaneh from: Senegal
October 05, 2013 3:51 PM
Let's face it, the king kong called jammeh has once failed to provide support to his country, all in the ame of drawing away from colonialism. As a gambian, i am deeply ashamed of how he governs the country and I am ashamed of how hes trying to cover his evil tracks all in the name of loving his country. he's a pig, a donkey and most importantly, he looks like a black buddha. Get a life president Jammeh, no one cares about whether youre in commonwealth or not.
PIG


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 03, 2013 2:32 PM
Repression and anti human rights, bad. But when has democracy changed its meaning to return to colonialism? The way western democracies want to force change to African, Asian and Arabian ways of life has become something to raise questions about. Is it for good? Whose good? With this revolt, there may be others following. Aid does not mean Britain or any country for that matter should control another country. Fundamental Human Rights we were told regarded right to food, clothing and shelter.

When democratization added other fringes to make up the lapse as becoming norms, it becomes a distortion. It is because of human right excesses that the globe has wormed and is warming beyond human endurance; in like manner, excessive social rights without bridle will lead to the earth looking for escape. Why not allow societies to remain in their tradition while the West goes haywire: if it become attractive, others will copy, but if it fails them, others will thank their God for staying afar off. Meddlesome-ness is not democratic. The West and Britain in particular should stop meddling in other countries' affairs in the name of aid, democracy or commonwealth. The era of slavery is past and will never return no matter how much one tries to return it through aid.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid