The independent research and educational organization, Fund for Peace, has ranked South Sudan the most fragile state in the world.
But the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei disagrees with the ranking, saying South Sudan is better than some countries in the list.
The Fragile States Index is an annual ranking of 178 countries based on different pressures they face.
The research focuses on twelve social, economic, and political indicators that quantify pressures experienced by countries, and thus their vulnerability to instability.
This year, the Fund for Peace says South Sudan tops the list of fragile states, followed by Somalia, Central African Republic and Yemen.
This means South Sudan has worsened because it was ranked as the second most fragile state after Somalia last year.
“No, that is not correct; I don’t agree with that report,” the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei said.
“South Sudan is even far better than other countries of the world which are more fragile that South Sudan. The level to say that it is at the top of the fragile state is not correct. It is fragile but it is not at the top of the fragile state,” he added.
A policy analyst at the SUDD Institute, Zacharia Diing, says the ranking system should have defined criteria.
“The ranking is like comparing oranges and apples,” Zachariah said.
He added that it does not make sense ranking South Sudan with countries that are more developed and had gained their statehood earlier.
“There should established criteria and then how long a country has been a state. Statehood is not simply defined by certain attributes such as having depleted, that a country having been declared as an independent country. It is a function of the level of development both in terms of human resource and also financial and physical infrastructure. So just to ranks states together because they are states, it does not make sense,” Zachariah added.
Meanwhile, an economic analyst, Dr. James Aliic, says the fact that South Sudan has been climbing the rank of the fragile states, means that the country needs to do more to improve.
“If it were to be a good or you were to climb a ladder of development in a good way, one can say that we have done a good job. But now we have become number one in a bad way. So one can say that we have not done enough, and as a result, this number one is not something that we can be proud of. We cannot be proud it. We have to do something,” said Dr. Aliic.
The Fund for Peace says other countries such as Ethiopia, Mexico, and Turkey recorded the greatest worsening since last year.
Finland has maintained its position of being the world’s least fragile state.
The group says the objective of the Fragile State Index is to create practical tools and approaches for conflict mitigation.