The 2020 Global Peace Index (GPI) released by the Institute for Economics Peace (IEP) has ranked Nigeria 147 out of 163..
The report tracks and ranks the status of peace in 163 independent states and territories across the world, noting where conflict is rising and falling, and the factors that are influencing change.
“The 14th edition of the annual Global Peace Index [GPI] report, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness, reveals that in 2020 the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated for the ninth time in 12 years. Overall, 81 countries improved in peacefulness in the 2020 report, while 80 deteriorated,” the GPI reveals.
With respect to Nigeria, here’s what the index had to say:
Nigeria continues to face challenges on both Safety and Security and Ongoing Conflict domains. The conflict between government forces and Boko Haram in the northeast led to an estimated 640 civilians killed in 2019.
In addition, Nigeria’s problems with cross-border smuggling and imports undercutting local producers have led the government to shut down its borders, causing Nigeria’s relationship with neighbouring countries to deteriorate.
Nigeria accounted for the largest number of demonstrations and the largest increase. In 2018 the number of demonstrations rose from six to 79 in a single year.
Civil unrest in sub-Saharan Africa rose by more than 800 per cent, from 32 riots and protests in 2011 to 292 in 2018. The increase was mostly driven by events occurring after 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest proportion of violent demonstrations, with riots making up 42.6 per cent of total events.
Nigeria accounted for the largest number of demonstrations and the largest increase. In 2018 the number of demonstrations rose
from six to 79 in a single year. Perhaps the most prominent issue was the imprisonment of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Supporters of the IMN protested repeatedly throughout the year to call for Zakzaky’s release, who had been imprisoned since 2015.
In South Africa, there was an 86 per cent increase in civil unrest from 2011 to 2018, with most of the increase occurring in 2017 and 2018. University students began protesting following proposed tuition increases in late 2015. These demonstrations led to the temporary closure of the country’s top universities.
Ethiopia experienced a similar trend, as emergency restrictions to contain protests in 2015 expired in late 2017 and citizens returned to the streets. The number of riots and demonstrations rose 500 per cent from 2015 to 2018. Much of the unrest occurred in Oromiya state, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa and reflected long-standing tensions between the province and the federal government. Demonstrations and other ongoing violence led to the resignation of then-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in February of 2018.
In Guinea, protestors and government forces clashed frequently over the last few years, with violence reported in 65 per cent of the demonstrations. Most of the events took place in 2018, as teacher-led protests eventually secured a promised pay increase from the government.
At the same time, local political parties marched to demand that the results of municipal elections be released, alleging fraud on the part of the ruling party. Protests and riots have continued since 2018, as President Alpha Conde held a referendum on 22 March 2020 to change the constitution and allow himself a third term in office, sparking further protests that resulted in at least 30 deaths.
The top 10 most peaceful countries in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the GPI:
5. Sierra Leone
Special research by the IEP also found Covid-19 was negatively impacting peace across the world, with nations expected to become “increasingly polarised in their ability to maintain peace and security”.
“This reflects the virus’ potential to undo years of socio-economic development, exacerbate humanitarian crises, and aggravate and encourage unrest and conflict. “The IEP identifies the economic impact of lockdowns as a significant threat to peace. Reductions in international aid are expected as OEDC economies contract, further destabilising fragile and conflict-affected countries, including Liberia, Afghanistan and South Sudan,” the IEP said.
This is the 14th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI),which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.