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S.Sudan ranked ‘worst’ in peace, economy within East Africa -GPI

Authors: Daniel Danis | theeastafrican.co.ke | Published: Monday, June 24, 2019

A soldier walks past women carrying their belongings near Benitu, Northern Liech State in February 11, 2017. PHOTO: Siegfried Modola/REUTERS

South Sudan has retained the position of the least peaceful country in the East African region after Burundi.

According to the Global Peace Index 2019, South Sudan also comes third as the least peaceful in the world -just above Syria and Afghanistan.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, which recently submitted a formal application for membership in the East African regional bloc, is ranked 155th out of the 163 nations listed.

In the economy, South Sudan also ranked worst in the economic cost of violence, measured at 17% of GDP, plus an overall economic impact estimated at around $15.2 billion in East Africa.

Burundi measured at 12% of GDP; Uganda 6%; Rwanda and Kenya 5% each, and Tanzania 4%.

Somalia measured at 26% of GDP.

Tanzania remains the most peaceful country in the region while Rwanda has showed the most significant improvement in peace, according to the Global Peace Index 2019 released this month.

Uganda remains in the “medium” state of peace category, while Kenya and Burundi — despite rising one place each — remained in the “low” state of peace category.

In the IGAD region, Somalia, which was boosted by a sharp drop in internal conflicts has been lifted out of the five least peaceful countries in the world.

No African country made it to the top 13 countries ranked “very high” on state of peacefulness.

The top three are Iceland — for the 12th year running — New Zealand and Austria.

The Global Peace Index is produced every year by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace and is widely considered the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.

It measures the state of peace using level of societal safety and security, extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization.

Worldwide, confidence and trust in national governments, election processes and honesty, judicial systems and financial institutions rose in 58 countries over the past decade, the report said.

Tanzania was among six countries globally whose ranking in government trust rose; the others were Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Senegal, Mozambique and Niger. Incidentally, all six countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the findings, Tanzania also registered the “largest improvement in confidence in election honesty,” whereas countries like Botswana, Spain, France, Italy, and the Netherlands recorded significant deterioration in this category.

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