The Gambia: UK 'very pleased' about Commonwealth return

Mr Jammeh took The Gambia out of the Commonwealth in 2013, calling it a neo-colonial institution.

But Adama Barrow, who was sworn in as president in January, lived in Britain for three years when he was younger and has said he wants to rekindle ties.

The statement added that the country's foreign minister notified UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the decision in a letter last month, which was before the African Union summit.

But President Adama Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in a December election, pledged during the campaign to undo Jammeh's decision, restore human rights and fix the country's badly-damaged foreign relations.

"The strength of our partnerships show that Global Britain is growing in influence and activity around the world", a statement on the Mirror said.

The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will visit Ghana today as part of a two-day visit that will also see him visit The Gambia.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who arrived in the West African nation for talks on Tuesday, said he was "very pleased" by the announcement, which could lead to the country's re-admittance to the group within months.

The former Argos security guard defeated hardline ruler Yahya Jammeh in December, but Mr Jammeh clung to power, saying there had been irregularities in the election. "Their elections highlight the continuing strengthening of democracy in West Africa", Johnson said ahead of the trip.

Mr Barrow, whose swearing-in was held in neighbouring Senegal, is to be inaugurated as president in a ceremony at the national stadium on Saturday.

Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea last month under regional military pressure after refusing to accept his defeat to Barrow.

  • Leroy Wright