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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

World Stage Readmits South Africa

LONDON -- After decades as the world's outcast, South Africa is being welcomed back to the international fold. Two organizations that fought apartheid have approved membership for South Africa's new non-racial, democratic government. South Africa officially rejoined the Commonwealth on Wednesday, becoming the 51st member of the organization of Britain and its former colonies. Commonry-General Emeka Anyaoku announced its re-admission after 33 years "with a special sense of joy." The Non-Aligned Movement, an organization created as an advocate for developing countries, approved South Africa's membership on the first day of its four-day conference in Cairo on Tuesday. It became the movement's 109th member. Last week, the UN Security Council ended a 10-year ban on the purchase of arms from South Africa. The ban was the last of a series of sanctions imposed by the United Nations to pressure South Africa to end white-minority rule. South Africa's return to the world stage has been swift since its first all-race elections in April, won by the African National Congress. South African President Nelson Mandela said he was "delighted" that South Africa's suspension from the Commonwealth had now ended. "The assumption of Commonwealth membership on the part of a democratic South Africa is both a tribute to the momentous changes that have taken place in our country, as well as a challenge for South Africa to play its part in the worldwide quest for a peaceful, harmonious and caring world," Mandela said. South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo was quoted as telling reporters in Cairo on Monday that it was critical to join the Non-Aligned Movement and other multilateral organizations. "The contact we have trade-wise and economic-wise with various countries of the world is bound to assist our process of restructuring," he said, according to the South African Press Association. Nzo said he would like South Africa to take an active role in world politics, but he believes the nation should concentrate on its internal problems first.