East Africa states fair badly in global peace index

Flags of EAC member States

What you need to know:

  • Two of its partner states, DR Congo and South Sudan, are ranked among the seven most unsafe and dangerous countries in the world.

Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) bloc has fared poorly in the Global Peace Index (GPI) report for 2022.

Two of its partner states, DR Congo and South Sudan, are ranked among the seven most unsafe and dangerous countries in the world.

The other countries in the group of seven are conflict-ridden Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Russia; the latter currently at war in Ukraine.

The report released this week ranked Tanzania in the 86th position, having dropped from its 58th position in 2021.

Kenya and Uganda are positioned 120th and 121st respectively, also having dropped slightly from the safety index for last year.

Incidentally, Rwanda leads the pack in the seven-nation bloc in the safety criteria and is globally ranked 72nd up from 83rd in 2021.

Within Africa, Rwanda is in the 11th position, according to the annual report by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).

Burundi, a country hit by bloody turmoil since 2015 but now back to normalcy, is positioned 131st in the GPI for 2022.

Efforts to reach Government Spokesperson Gerson Msigwa, Defence and National Services Minister Innocent Bashungwa and Home Affairs Minister Hamad Yusuf Masauni for comments yesterday proved futile.

An analyst who is close to the EAC intimated to The Citizen that the region was not performing well in the GPI due to increased political turmoil and tensions.

These include the running battles pitting the armed rebel groups in the eastern DRC, notably M-23, and the government forces.

Uganda has also been battling ADF armed outfits on its eastern border with DRC while South Sudan has not stabilized due to internal strife.

On the economic front, the Russia-Ukraine war has led to soaring food and fuel prices dealing a blow to the EAC economies already battered by unfavourable weather.

The GPI ranks the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.

The report searches countries to determine which the safest and most dangerous countries are.

A total of 163 countries are featured in the 2022 report with each ranked on its level of safety and danger based upon 23 different indicators.

The indicators include the number of internal and external violent conflicts and political instability, terrorist acts and number of homicides, among others.

The survey goes further to include military expenditures as a percentage of GDP. The lower the score, the higher the nation is ranked in terms of safety.

The majority of the top 25 safest countries are European countries, led by the five Nordic countries.

In the Nordic region, the homicide rate is 0.8 incidences per 100,000 inhabitants, in contrast with Asia with 3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The 2022 GPI report says the world has become less safe over the past 14 years, with per country scores deteriorating by 3.2 percent on average.

The declines tend to happen more swiftly and precipitously than do improvements with the largest deteriorations occurring in countries in conflict.

Within Africa, the top five most peaceful and safe countries are Mauritius, Ghana, Gambia, Botswana and Sierra Leone.

The five at the bottom are South Sudan, DR Congo, Somalia, Central African Republic and Sudan.

These are to be followed by countries which recently plunged into bloody attacks like Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Cameroon.

IEP is a global think tank headquartered in Sydney, Australia, that studies the relationship between peace, business and prosperity.

It seeks to promote understanding of the cultural, economic, and political factors that drive peacefulness.

The top five safest countries in the world are Iceland, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria.

These are followed by Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Singapore, Japan, Switzerland and Canada.

The United States, the world’s largest economy, is ranked 129th in the GPI for 2022, having fallen every year since 2016.

The drop is usually attributed to a decrease in life satisfaction, rising political division and an increasing wealth gap.

Countries outside Africa considered most dangerous are Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Russia, Iraq, Ukraine, and North Korea.