Ethiopia is listed among the bottom five countries that have become less peaceful in the 2017 Global Peace Index released on Thursday. The report said the East African country ranked 134th out the 161 countries included in the study.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the index shows, “Ethiopia suffered the biggest decline, both in the region and globally, as violent demonstrations, partly driven by rising ethnic tensions, led the government to introduce a six-month state of emergency in October 2016. In turn, this was reflected in a sharp worsening in indicators of domestic conflict.”
Ethiopia saw its score worsen by 0.193 and fell 16 places in the rankings to 134th, the report said.
“The country suffered a major deterioration of peace reflecting the state of emergency introduced in October 2016, which was originally intended to put a stop to nearly a year of protest-related violence. This state of emergency has given the government significant powers such as the ability to impose curfews, suspend due process, and use the military to suppress protests,” writes the Vision of Humanity report.
The report noted that “Ethiopia’s score worsened the most in the domain of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, as evidenced by deteriorations in the indicators of intensity of organised internal conflict, number and duration of internal conflicts, and number of deaths from internal conflict.”
However, the Global Peace Index notes, “in order to address the turbulent domestic environment, the government has strengthened its military, leading to a deterioration (albeit much milder) in the score for military expenditure as a percentage of GDP. Ethiopia’s most-improved indicator was the number, duration and role in external conflicts, as it has drawn down its involvement in neighbouring Somalia, although further instability in that country as well as in South Sudan poses the risk of a deterioration in the external environment as well.”
The 2017 Global Peace Index shows that the world became slightly more peaceful in 2016.
The report also contains some interesting figures regarding violence and peace. Violence costs 12.6% of the world GDP, which equals to $5.40 per day, per person, globally. Every $1 invested in peacebuilding can lead to $16 decline in the cost of armed conflict.