These Are the World's Least Peaceful Nations

With the ongoing upsurge violence in Iraq, a latest report by the Institute for Economics and Peace indicates that the world has become more violent over the last seven years.

As per the IEP's Global Peace Index, there are 22 indicators, including a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries, as well as the percentage of the population held in prisons.

1. Syria

A Western Asian country, Syria displaced Afghanistan as the world's least peaceful nation. Daniel Hyslop, Vice President Global Head of Research at IEP revealed the situation has only become much worse for Syria. "It is much more to do with the fact that Syria has significantly deteriorated.

So if you look at the situation now, you have up to 120,000 dead and 35 per cent of the population are either refugees or displaced. Afghanistan has actually improved." As Human Rights Watch, who in 2010 referred to the country's record as "among the worst in the world."

In this violent afflicted nation, the authorities are accused of arresting democracy and human rights activists, censoring websites, detaining bloggers, and imposing travel bans. Arbitrary detention, torture, and disappearances are widespread.

Also, the Syrian conflict has been growing in intensity and scope for over two years, with the United Nations estimating more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced.

3. Afghanistan

The world's largest producer of opium, Afghanistan comes down in the second spot. This is mainly attributed to the rise in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, which, at 13.8 percent, is high by global standards. It is one of the highly effected countries, riding high on the index.

A lot has gone down in Afghanistan since the invasion, like the fall of the Taliban government, the Taliban insurgency and killing of the founder and leader of the Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. The country is also plagued by civil unrest and violent Islamic extremism.

Landmines, political unrest, frequent bombings, continual terrorist attacks, and high risk of kidnapping are some forms of violence going on in Afghanistan.

4. Somalia

A country located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia includes itself in the list of the least peaceful nation. This is mainly because of widespread lack of law, ineffective government, terrorism, insurgency, crime, and well-publicized pirate attacks against foreign vessels.

It is one such country in the world which has been torn by conflict for over 4 decades since its independence. This war-torn state has resulted in enormous casualties and abuses of civilians, perpetrated by the conflicts.

5. Iraq

The Middle East nation Iraq is among the most dangerous countries in the world. Although the Iraq War has officially ended with U.S. withdrawal in 2011, the country still faces insurgency within its borders and remains virtually unchanged. A lack of stable government has led in widespread networks of organized crime in the vein of drug trafficking.

The security forces continue to arbitrarily detain and torture detainees by holding some of them illegally outside the custody of the Justice Ministry. In 2012, the Justice Ministry announced a record number of executions, but provided less information about the identities of those who were executed.

Peaceful protest in Iran is often responded with intimidation, threats, violence, and arrests of protesters and journalists by the Iraq security forces. Overall, in the recent outbreak, at least 1,300 people were killed in Iraq, and another 1,250 injured in the two weeks.

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