Barrow’s Foreign Policy Moves Earning Gambia Goodwill in the International Community

Adama Barrow, the new president of Gambia, is gradually easing his country back into the good books of the international community.

In 2015 the Gambian government led by then President Yahya Jammeh announced the decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). This, according to Information Minister Sheriff Bojang, was because ‘‘the ICC, despite being called the International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans’’.

On 13 February, however, Barrow’s government reversed that decision. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, sent a letter to ICC, which said:

“As a new government that has committed itself to the promotion of human rights, democracy, good governance and respect for the rule of law, we reaffirm The Gambia’s commitment to the principles enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This action is in line with our vision of a new democratic Gambia”.

In 2013 Jammeh’s government quit the Common Wealth which it joined 1965.

On 14 February 2016 Reuters reported Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, said Gambia will be readmitted into Common Wealth. ‘‘We are going to admit them as fast as possible. Last night I talked to the Commonwealth secretary general, and she is determined to speed it up and get it done as soon as possible’’, Johnson had said.

Adama Barrow is keen to show that his government would not be anything like Yahya Jammeh’s. Still early days, but both moves are striking the right notes.