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Gulf states drop down Global Peace Index

Gulf states drop down Global Peace Index

Saudi Arabia fell from 95 in 2015 to 129 this year, while the UAE went from 49 to 61

Gulf Cooperation Council countries have fallen in the 2016 Global Peace Index, with the Middle East and North Africa scoring as the least peaceful region in the world.

Saudi Arabia dropped 34 places, from 95 to 129, while the United Arab Emirates – the third highest ranked country in MENA – fell from 49 in 2015 to 61 in 2016.

Qatar and Kuwait ranked highest in MENA, in 34th (30 in 2015) and 51st (33) position respectively, while Oman came in at 74 (74) and Bahrain at 132 (107).

Footing the list of 163 countries is Syria (162), with Iraq at 161 (161) and Yemen at 158 (147).

The 10th annual GPI found that 81 countries across the world improved their rankings, but that the deterioration in 79 other outweighed these gains. This means that overall peace declined at a faster rate than it did in the previous year.

According to international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace, which carried out the study, the deterioration in peace during 2015 was driven by increased terrorism and greater political instability.

The institute found that while the majority of terrorism was concentrated in five countries – Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan – the breadth of terrorist activity was spreading. Only 23 per cent of countries had not experienced a terrorist incident.

SteveKillelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, said: “As internal conflicts in MENA become more entrenched, external parties are increasingly becoming more involved and the potential for indirect or ‘war by proxy’ between nation states is rising.

“This was already evident in Syria, with the conflict between the Assad regime and multiple non-state actors, and is now spilling into countries such as Yemen.”

Europe maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, with Iceland, Denmark and Austria occupying the top three positions.

 

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