Gambia leaves the Commonwealth of Nations. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2013 v7n2 p1119
I attended a reception for the Gambian Minister of Tourism on Oct 1st, 2013, in a jazz club in Philadelphia.
A gorgeous place, with blown up postage stamps of jazz greats all around the walls, and a pick-up jazz band playing.
It was organized by the Philadelphia group, the African and Caribbean Business Council, which is run by an energetic engineer, Azuka Anyiam. Dr Anyiam, his PhD is in mechanical engineering, has taken us to Trenton, and regularly hosts trade trips to countries in the Caribbean and Africa. And he is going to Gambia, and he wanted to tell Philadelphians about Gambia and about the trip.
We saw a movie about an island where kidnapped Africans were kept before being transported across the Atlantic to either die before they reached land, or a life of imprisonment and forced labor.
I believe this prison, this island, should be handed over to the NAACP or at least to African American organizations. To be run by the people of a country which happily executes anyone with a dissenting voice, and this shrine used to generate tourist dollars to that country. This is too cynical.
Two days later, on Oct 3, 2013, Gambia left the Commonwealth of Nations. Member states mostly were former British colonies, although not Rwanda and Mozambique. Although the Queen of England is the ceremonial head of the Commonwealth, this title will not be passed down on her death.
The Commonwealth thinks of itself as a group of 53 nations that plays cricket against each other, and sponsors athletic games. The heads of state get together every years and talk about things that interest them.
The Commonwealth also has a code of ethics, and collectively were upset at Gambia's willingness to execute prisoners of conscience. And so Gambia left the Commonwealth rather than stop murdering its own people.
So now the continent of Africa, with 54 countries, has more countries than the Commonwealth.