By Mua Patrick, Monday, June 12, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – Cameroon has been grouped amongst countries in the world considered least peaceful. Cameroon emerged 30th position out of 163 countries surveyed for the 2017 Global Peace Index. The studies were carried out by the Institute for Economic and Peace, an Australian think-tank.
The report, it should be said, comes amidst rising tensions in the two English-speaking regions of the country. The indicators for the studies include amongst others, perceptions of criminality, homicide, incarceration, access to weapons, intensity of internal conflict, violent demonstrations, violent crime, political instability, terror, weapon imports and deaths from internal conflict.
Going by the report published recently, Iceland was named the most peaceful country in the world, followed by New Zealand and Portugal. War-torn Syria emerged the least peaceful country before Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Africa, Mauritius is classified the most peaceful with Botswana and Madagascar occupying the second and third positions respectively.
In a statement issued alongside the report, officials of the Institute for Economic and Peace said generally speaking, the world became more peaceful in 2016.
The improvement, they said, comes after a decade-long deterioration in world peacefulness. Ninety-three countries recorded improvements in the Global Peace Index score in the last year, while 68 deteriorated, the statement disclosed.
South America experienced the biggest improvement regionally while its northern counterpart suffered the biggest decline in peace. North America was dragged down by the US which plummeted in the rankings, a result of the political polarisation during the presidential election campaign last year, the report said.
“While the true extent of such significant political polarity in the US will take years to be fully realised, its disruptive influence is already evident,” said Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economic and Peace think-tank which produced the index.
“Increasing inequality, rising perceptions of corruption, and falling press freedom standards have all contributed to this substantial deterioration in the US and an overall decline in peace in the North America region.”
Portugal’s remarkable climb to third in the overall rankings was driven by a steady recovery from its fiscal crisis, resulting in overall greater internal stability. The country was ranked 16th less than five years ago, the report added.
While Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, many countries have slipped in scores due to the impact of the attacks in Brussels, Nice and Paris. Several countries such as Denmark, Sweden, France and Turkey experienced a record number of deaths from terrorism.
The Middle East and North Africa continues to be the least peaceful regions, exacerbated by the intense rivalry between Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab Gulf monarchies, with Saudi Arabia in the forefront. Syria stays at the bottom of the list for the fifth consecutive year.
The Global Peace Index (GPI), it should be pointed out, ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. It is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. The GPI report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on the trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.