Bahrain falls 51 places in global peace index on unrest

Arab Spring revolts take toll on annual list with Egypt, Libya, Bahrain sliding in rankings
Bahrain falls 51 places in global peace index on unrest
Bahraini protestors run for cover after police fired tear gas canisters to disperse them in the village of Diraz, northwest of Bahrain, on February 14 (AFP/Getty Images)
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Thu 26 May 2011 06:33 PM

Bahrain’s
global peace ranking has dropped 51 places to 123 out of 153 countries
according to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

The Gulf
state, which faced a wave of Shi’ite-led protests in February and March that
left at least 29 people dead, was the second biggest fall after Libya which
declined 83 places to 143 position.

The increased
risk of violent demonstrations coupled with the rising threat of terrorist
attacks saw an overall decline in world peace for the third consecutive year.
The economic impact has cost the global economy $8.12 trillion in the last
year, said IEP.

“The
fall in this year’s index is strongly tied to conflict between citizens and
their governments; nations need to look at new ways of creating stability other
than through military force,” Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of
the IEP, said in a statement.

“Despite
a decade-long war on terrorism, the potential for terrorist acts has increased
this year offsetting small gains made in prior years,” he added.

The Arab
Spring, in which thousands of protesters across the Middle East have taken to
the streets demanding better human rights and increased democracy, has had a
significant impact on this year’s global peace report. Egypt was ranked 73, a
decline of 24 places.

The
index, which gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict and safety and
security in society using 23 indicators, ranked Iceland the world’s most
peaceful country followed by New Zealand, Japan, Denmark and the Czech
Republic.

Iraq
(152) moved from the bottom of the index for the first time, leaving the bottom
spot for Somalia, a country that hasn’t had an effective government in place
for almost two decades.

Sub-Saharan
Africa is home to 40 percent of the world’s least peaceful countries making it
the world’s least peaceful region.  

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