The Gambian Government on 2 October 2013 announced that it is pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect. Gambian, a West African country joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1965
The Gambian also stated that it 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.
The decision came after the Government rejected a proposal by the Commonwealth in 2012 to create commissions in Banjul (capital of Gambia) to protect human rights, media rights and fight against corruption.
The last country to be withdrawn from the Commonwealth group was Zimbabwe in 2003.
About the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 54 countries, many of them former territories of the British Empire. It was established in 1949.
Fifty-four countries are members of the Commonwealth. These Countries are from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-two of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
All members have an equal say regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.
The last two countries to join The Commonwealth - Rwanda and Mozambique - have no historical ties to the British Empire.
The Republic of the Gambia, also commonly known as Gambia is a country in West Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal, apart from a short strip of Atlantic coastline at its western end. It is the smallest country on mainland Africa. Banjul is the Gambia’s capital. Gambia is a republic and its current President is Yahya Jammeh.
Who: Republic of Gambia
When: 2 October 2013