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Gambia set to leave Commonwealth

The West African nation of The Gambia has announced it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth, saying it will "never be a member of any neo-colonial institution".

It was not immediately clear what triggered the decision to leave the association of 54 countries largely made up of former British colonies, which was announced in a statement yesterday.

Though a popular destination for British tourists, The Gambia has been criticised in the past by the United Kingdom for human rights abuses, including when it executed nine death-row inmates by firing squad in August of last year.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised the government of President Yahya Jammeh for cracking down on dissent and targeting political opponents and sexual minorities for arrest and detention, among other alleged abuses.

AP

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