Published annually by the Fund for Peace, the Fragile States Index lists nations according to their level of stability. The nations on our list are dead last primarily due to weak and ineffective governments, civil wars, lack of public services, and failed economies. These are the 25 most unstable countries in the world.
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After emerging from decades of military rule, ethnic tensions in Burma flared up again in recent years. With a newly elected government the question remains as to whether the country will continue to progress or slide back into violence and turmoil.
Although it is Africa’s oldest republic, following a destructive civil war Liberia has today become one of the UN’s most expensive peace keeping operations.
Violently gaining its independence in 1993, Eritrea has since fought several more wars both with Yemen and Ethiopia. Today, although there is peace, the country has a long road of recovery ahead of it.
Since the 80s, Uganda has made significant strides to once again achieve internal peace and stability but the question remains as to whether the current government will be able to continue on an upward trajectory.
Another extremely poor country, Burundi is struggling to free itself form a civil war that has lasted for over a decade.
Located on the edge of the Sahara, following its independence Niger saw decades of military rule. Today it is ranked as one of Africa’s least developed nations.
Africa’s oldest independent nation has battled several droughts as well as armed conflicts with its neighbors which have kept most of its population in poverty.
With high unemployment, corruption, and poverty, Kenya is constantly in civil conflict although it has fared notably better than many of the other previous nations on this list.
After years of military coups Nigeria finally has a democratically elected government but the question still remains as to whether the new government will be able to pull a divided country together.
Like Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau was once seen as a model for African development and stability. Today, however, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Following a civil war in the late 1990s its economy has been a mess and corruption has been widespread.
With large swaths of its land in rebel control, Syria has once again descended into lawlessness, violence, and genocide.
Although at one time it was looked upon as a model of stability, beginning in 2003, the Ivory Coast descended into civil conflict. Since then corruption and turmoil has left the country largely unstable.
Ever since the ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has been a hotbed of violence and instability.
In spite of its vast mineral wealth, Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in West Africa thanks to decades of rule by military juntas and violent dictatorships.
With Robert Mugabe at the helm, Zimbabwe has descended into a mess of poverty and political strife.
Ever since it was carved out of India in 1947, warring factions have left Pakistan’s democracy weak. Apart from China, it has also had relatively sour relations with its neighbors and has even fought several wars with India over the Kashmir region.
Although it was the Caribbean’s first independent state, dictatorships, instability, and natural disasters have led to it being one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.
The poorest country in the Middle East, constant civil tensions have led to it once again becoming a battle ground between various factions.
Having suffered through some of the worst conflicts in modern history, Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure are in ruins and many of its people are refugees.
Rich in gold and uranium, Africa’s fifth largest state suffers from lack of infrastructure and constant armed conflict.
Not faring much better than its southern counterpart, Sudan has long been beset by civil war and conflict, one of the most well known being the Darfur region in the west.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In spite of a peace deal that ended Africa’s World War and the formation of a transitional government in 2003, vast swaths of the country are still embroiled in sectarian violence and conflict.
Central African Republic
Ever since its independence from France in 1960 the Central African Republic has been a hotbed of violence and turmoil. The UN has described it as being in a state of permanent crisis.
After nearly two decades of anarchy, an internationally backed government was implement in 2012. There are still huge strides to make, however, as conflict and natural disaster have left the region decimated.
After breaking off of Sudan in 2011 South Sudan quickly fell into civil conflict. Although it is rich in natural resources, violence and turmoil have left it as one of Africa’s least developed nations.