British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson became the first British foreign minister to visit The Gambia since independence in 1965 and vowed to strengthen ties with the former colony.
Johnson met with recently inaugurated President Adama Barrow and Interior Minister Mai Fatty. The talks solidified moves by The Gambia to return to the Commonwealth. The country pulled out of the community in 2013, as then-President Yahya Jammeh considered it “an extension of colonialism”.
In addition to building stronger ties with the small West African country, Johnson has also vowed to assist in speeding up the process to have The Gambia reinstated to the Commonwealth.
One of the other points of discussion was tackling the migrant crisis, which Johnson said was “something that is absolutely vital for Europe as much as Africa.” The British foreign minister also vowed to support The Gambia to reform its justice system. The new government declared that the prison system was in need of an overhaul after shocking video footage was published of conditions inside.
The Gambia has also notified the United Nations that it would be rejoining the International Criminal Court (ICC), reversing yet another of former president Jammeh’s controversial moves.
Johnson also posted a video to Twitter praising the new Gambian government, saying “They got rid of a guy who was really holding things up, and they will take the country forward.”
Johnson also stopped over in Ghana to meet President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Watch Johnson’s video below.
After his Arrival in The Gambia, Mr. Boris Johnson has this say.. pic.twitter.com/KvW8w5SD71
— LAZAR KUJABI (@lazarkujabi) February 15, 2017