The peacefulness of countries all around the world is evaluated by a report known as the Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI was first produced in May 2007 and has been released annually since then by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and other partners. Presently, the GPI ranks 163 countries and territories all around the world. Three broad factors or themes are used in determining the peacefulness of a nation:
- Level of militarization.
- Domestic and international conflicts.
- Level of safety and security in a society.
A low index indicates a peaceful nation while a higher GPI is an indicator of a lack of peace.
The Most Dangerous Countries in the World
The GPI figures from 2018 show that Syria is the most dangerous county in the world with an index score of 3.600 followed by Afghanistan with 3.585. South Sudan is third with 3.508 while Iraq and Somalia are fourth and fifth with scores of 3.425 and 3.367 respectively. Other dangerous countries include Yemen (3.305), Libya (3.262), the Democratic Republic of Congo (3.251), and others.
Officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic, Syria is a country in Asia that has been in a civil war inspired by the Arab Spring back in 2011. Since then, the conflict has been between Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic, which is led by the president, and rebel forces. As of 2016, the estimated deaths from the conflict stood at 400,000 people. This ongoing war is the reason why Syria is the most dangerous country in the world.
Also located in Asia, Afghanistan has also experienced seasons of conflict that have seen to this low placement on the GPI. An example of a recent conflict was the emergence of the Taliban in the early stages of the 1990s. Even after the Taliban was removed from power in 2002, the group continued to control some parts of Afghanistan. The famous Osama bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 in Pakistan, also led the Al Qaeda terrorist group that sowed unrest in the region.
South Sudan became the youngest country in the world after it received its independence from Sudan back in 2011. Unfortunately, it ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to the conflict that started in December 2013. The conflict started after the president accused the vice president and other people of trying to carry out a coup d’état. In such a short time, the civil war has claimed the lives of an estimated 400,000 people and displaced at least 4 million people. Almost two million of these displaced people are internally displaced while others have fled to other countries such as Sudan and Uganda.
International Reception of the GPI
There have been mixed reactions to this way of measuring a country’s safety from the international community. A number of international figures such as the late Kofi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and others have expressed their approval of the index. On the other hand, it has received some criticism from people who argue that the GPI does not take into account of some indicators. An example of such an indicator is violence towards children and women.