Rwanda Joins Commonwealth of Nations

rwanda-flag-commonwealth-of-nationsRwanda became the 54th member of the Commonwealth of Nations ending a six-year bid. It is the second nation to join the organization that was not a former member of the British Empire after Mozambique joined November 1995.

The admission was announced at the end of a biannual summit of the body in Trinidad and Tobago. ItĀ came just a few days after Saint Vincent and the Grenadines attempted to leave the Commonwealth Realms.

The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organization through which countries with diverse social, political and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status. The head of the commonwealth is ceremonially held by the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

Rwanda was a former colony of France, which incidentally restored ties with Rwanda on the very same day it was admitted to the organization. France severed ties with the former colony in 2006 after France included Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the investigation of the African nation’s 1994 genocide.