Global Peace Index 2013: The Gambia drops 19 places

14 Jun

Sudan is among the world’s five less peaceful countries (Photo credit: USAID_IMAGES)


By Modou S. Joof


The Gambia is ranked 93 out of 162 countries in the 2013 2013 Global Peace Index (GPI), dropping 19 places from its 74th position in 2012.


This year, the tiny West African nation, which is largely regarded as “peaceful” from within – scored 2.09 points compared to 1.96 points last year.

The GPI published by the Institute for Economics and Peace rank 162 countries by measuring security in society, the extent of conflict and the degree of militarisation.


Africa’s most peaceful Mauritius


West African peers Ghana, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso are ranked above The Gambia – at 58, 59, and 87 respectively.


In Africa, Mauritius is the highest performer maintaining its position at 21. Namibia is ranked 46, Lesotho 49, Djibouti 53, Tanzania 55, Morocco 57, Mozambique ranked 61, Malawi 74, and Tunisia 77.


Somalia remained at the bottom of the GPI ranking with 3.39 points (161 position) – three places worst that its 2012 position. Somalia is followed by Sudan at 158.


Satellite image of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has seen a deterioration in peace following a series of destructive army rampage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Deteriorations in peacefulness


Libya and Chad which have experienced civil wars in 2012 and 2010 – have moved up three and four places respectively.


The violence that followed President elections in Côte d’Ivoire and a series of destructive rampages by the army in Burkina Faso, ensured deteriorations in peacefulness in the two countries.


Meanwhile, Iceland continues to occupy number one spot in the global peace ranking – despite dropping points from 1.11 in 2012 to 1.16 in 2013.  Denmark 2, New Zealand 3, Austria 4, and Switzerland 5 completed the five most peaceful countries in the world.


Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan – are ranked from 158-162 respectively – completing the five most un-peaceful countries in the world.


Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecologi...

Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Method used


The Institute for Economics and Peace said it has used a wide-ranging definition to determine the level of peace around the world.


This includes both positive measures of peace (institutional capacity and resilience) as well as negative peace, famously defined by Johan Galtung as “the absence of violence or fear of violence”.


It said countries are given scores on 22 indicators that measure internal peace including levels of perceived criminality, number of police per 100,000 people and level of organised crime.


External peace indicators include nuclear weapons capabilities and military expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total value of goods and services that a country produces in a year.


The GPI indicated important international changes, citing the increase of UN peacekeeping contributions and a dramatic reduction in the number of homicides per 100,000 people – over the last five years.


But, it stated that small arms and light weapons have become more accessible and the capability of nuclear and heavy weapons has continued to grow – as many countries remain unwilling to demilitarise.





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