Prince Charles and Lady Camilla arrived in the tiny West African nation of The Gambia the other day on the first leg of a week-long tour of the region to reaffirm ties with Commonwealth countries. But with the couple’s arrival come accusations and fears Britain is reasserting itself via that “neo-colonial institution”.
The royal couple could not have chosen a better time to replant the British flag in Gambia. Since the former Gambian government severed its Commonwealth ties back in October 2013, the organization has done everything in its power to unseat the now ousted President Yahya Jammeh. On the arrival of the royals in The Gambia, the British High Commission said the visit would celebrate the UK’s “dynamic, forward-looking partnership with the Commonwealth nations on a range of shared priorities.” There’s little doubt those priorities include reasserting Anglo-European control of the whole region and uninhibited puppeteering through the new President Adama Barrow.
Barrow came to power through elections former President Jammeh said had “unacceptable abnormalities.” His petitioning the country’s Supreme Court for a new election, and his refusal to step down, resulted in the intervention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which magically transformed itself into a military alliance when the bloodless coup on Jammeh had seemingly failed. Back in 2013, The Guardian ran the story of Edward Snowden revelations on GCHQ and the NSA spying on the then head of ECOWAS, among many other targets associated with giving aid and wielding influence in West Africa. But this news only hints at the UK’s new brand of colonial extension. A story at the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) reveals the geo-strategic nature ECOWAS in cahoots with the Brits.
According to “The Privatisation of Violence: New mercenaries and the state,” by Christopher Wrigley back in 1999, the UK government basically moved to decriminalize mercenary activity in the region. The author quotes the UK Foreign Office position stated in 1991 that said: “it was not in itself reprehensible to serve a foreign government in a military capacity.” Those pompous Brits went on to proclaim a “moral obligation” to settle the situation in Sierra Leone at the time. For the sake of time here, suffice it to say the UK’s and their royals’ hands are sticky-thick with the blood of West Africans since slavery was condoned.