Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Rwanda gets Commonwealth membership

Rwanda will become the 54th member of the Commonwealth, but Fiji remains suspended for failing to hold elections and will be barred from attending the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth nations announced on Sunday.

Three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting also came out with a communique supporting an agreement on climate change at Copenhagen. It contained a commitment to support a $US10 billion Copenhagen launch fund to assist poorer nations most vulnerable to climate change.

The leaders and representatives of the 49 countries which attended the meeting welcomed Rwanda into the Commonwealth and Rwanda announced that it had agreed to re-establish relations with France. The African nation, which was torn apart by ethnic violence in 1994, leaving 800,000 people dead, has been trying to join the Commonwealth for 16 years. Rwanda changed its official language to English in 2007.

But Fiji, which is under military rule, remains suspended. The Commonwealth heads said a decision to suspend Fiji from the 2010 Commonwealth Games was in line with the body's principles.


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