Every year, the Global Peace Index (product of the Institute for Economics and Peace) attempts to determine the level of peacefulness of 162 world´s largest countries. Measuring the countries’ peacefulness is a complex process based on evaluating a wide range of indicators. There are 22 indicators in total, including things like number of external and internal conflicts, relations with neighboring countries, political instability, terrorist activity, number of homicides per 100,000 people, number of jailed persons per 100,000 people, nuclear and heavy weapons capability and many more. Since 2007 when the project was launched, Iceland has always been the safest and most peaceful country in the world. In this year´s TOP 5 peaceful countries, Iceland (this year´s score 1.189) was followed by Denmark (1.193), Austria (1.200), New Zealand (1.236), and Switzerland (1.258). In these countries, as well as in those which ranked close by, you should not worry about your safety. But let us have a look at the other end of the chart. These 25 countries have been listed as the most dangerous countries in the world and definitely should not be among your vacation destinations.
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The Somali Civil War is an ongoing conflict that started in 1991 and lasts up to present. It grew out of resistance to the Siad Barre regime during the 1980s but in the course of time, many different factions, armed rebel groups and clan-based armed organizations have joined the conflict, competing for influence in the country. The war has claimed hundreds of thousands casualties so far.
Iraq has been affected by the Iraq War that lasted almost 9 years. It officially ended in December 2011 but the country has been threshing about conflicts up to present. Currently, the main problem in Iraq is the Islamic State that keeps expanding and taking over large areas of the country’s north including the provincial capitals of Mosul or Tikrit.
South Sudan (3.397)
Since July 2011, when South Sudan became an independent state, the country has suffered from internal conflicts. The ethnic violence began as part of the Sudanese nomadic conflicts fought between rival nomadic tribes. They have resulted in a large number of casualties and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
The War in Afghanistan started in 2001 and lasts till present. It refers to the intervention by NATO and allied forces in the ongoing Afghan civil war. The war followed the September 11 attacks, and its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and denying it a safe basis of operation in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. As of 2013, tens of thousands of people had been killed in the war.
The main reason why Syria ranked as the world´s most dangerous country is the Syrian Civil war. This ongoing armed conflict began in the early spring of 2011 with nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whose forces responded with violent crackdowns. The conflict gradually morphed from popular protests to an armed rebellion after months of military sieges. The armed opposition consists of various groups that were formed during the course of the conflict, including the Free Syrian Army or the Islamic Front. Estimates of deaths in the conflict vary widely, ranging from around 110,000 up to almost 200,000.
It’s truly sad to see some of the stuff that goes on in the world’s most dangerous countries. Our hope is that one day, maybe these countries can be safe and prosperous places.