A report on global peace has placed Nigeria among the least peaceful countries in the world.
Nigeria occupies 40th position out of the 44 countries assessed for their peacefulness in sub-Saharan Africa – just four positions above war-torn South Sudan which is the least peaceful country in the region – according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) report released on June 10.
Nigeria is ranked 147th globally, the report says.
The report attributed Nigeria’s deterioration in peacefulness to the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, which it said has led to the killing of 640 civilians in 2019, including other safety and security challenges.
“Nigeria’s problems with cross-border smuggling and imports undercutting local producers have led the government to shut down its borders, causing Nigeria’s relationship with neighbouring countries to deteriorate,” the report said.
“Over the last year, the country has recorded further deteriorations in Militarisation and Ongoing Conflict and an overall deterioration in peacefulness of 0.8 per cent.”
Somalia is the second of the least peaceful countries in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, before Nigeria.
Mauritius is the most peaceful country in the region. It occupies an impressive 23rd position in the global ranking, according to the report.
Apart from Mauritius, the other top peaceful countries in Africa, in their order of ranking, are Botswana, Ghana, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Tanzania, Namibia, Liberia, and Malawi.
South Africa occupies 29th position on the African table.
“Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008,” the report said.
“It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
“Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the second year in a row, followed by Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. All, except Yemen, have been ranked amongst the five least peaceful since at least 2015.
“Only two of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. The greatest improvement occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, followed by North America.”
This is the 14th edition of the GPI, which is produced annually by the Institute for Economic & Peace, a non-partisan and non-profit organization in Sydney, Australia.
The GPI uses “internal” and “external” indicators for its measurement of peacefulness in countries around the world.
Violent demonstrations, intensity of internal conflict, violent crime, political terror, and political instability, terrorism impact, and deaths from internal conflict are some of the internal indicators used, while UN peacekeeping funding, neighbouring countries relations, and external conflicts fought are some of the external indicators.
“The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures more than just the presence or absence of war,” the report says. “It captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarisation.”
163 independent states and territories were assessed in this year’s report.