Bahrain slumps in global peace index ratings

Gulf kingdom drops to 118th place out of 158 countries; Qatar ranked highest in Middle East

Bahrain has seen regular protests since the start of the unrest in early 2011

Bahrain has seen regular protests since the start of the unrest in early 2011

Bahrain has plummeted in the latest edition of the Global Peace Index as a result of months of unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

The country fell to 118th place out of 158 covered after being placed 62nd back in 2007.

Bahrain, a US ally and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by Shi'ites erupted early last year after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

The country's rulers have rejected opposition calls for an elected government and protests and clashes with police continue.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatar was ranked the most peaceful country in the region and was 12th globally.

The annual index, which is published by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), scored Qatar ahead of the likes of Sweden (14), Germany (15), Malaysia (20), Singapore (23), Britain (29), Italy (38) France (40) and the United States (88).

It was 34 places higher than the next Gulf representative, the UAE, which was ranked 46th. Kuwait was one place lower while Oman came in 59th position and Saudi Arabia 106th.

Globally, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand were ranked the top three countries while Sudan, Afghanistan and Somalia were rooted to the bottom.

Countries were assessed on score level of 1-5 on a number of political, economical and security factors, with 1 indicating high levels of peace.

The index showed that Qatar scored 1 in organised crime, number of homicides, criminality in society, violent demonstrations and violent crime.

The report also showed that all regions except Middle East and North Africa (MENA) showed improvement in peace terms, a direct result of the impact of the Arab Spring.

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