Rwanda has retained last year’s ranking as the second most peaceful country in the region behind Tanzania, according to a global survey – the Global Peace Index (GPI), released Tuesday.
Last year, Rwanda’s overall score was 2.030, a slight but noteworthy variation from the current 2.027.
That year, Rwanda had ranked 11th out of 30 countries in Africa and 76th worldwide out of the 140 countries analyzed in 2008.
Rwanda is presently ranked 13th and 86th most peaceful in Africa and the world respectively, only beaten by Tanzania in the region which ranked seventh in Africa and 59th worldwide.
Regionally, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are third, fourth, fifth and sixth in that order.
The GPI designers define peace as the absence of violence, with the survey looking at several qualitative and quantitative indicators of external and internal measures to maintain peace.
These include a country’s crime rates, political instability, and level of organized crime besides external measures like a country’s relations with its neighbours.
Among the rationale for Rwanda’s present peace perception are issues such as fewer: number of homicides, internal and external deaths from organized conflict, number of internally displaced people and lack of hostility to foreigners and their property.
Political participation, the gender ratio of the population and military expenditure are also indicated in the country’s top positive indicators.
Of the 31 African countries sampled, neighboring Uganda ranks 17th and 103rd overall while Kenya is 19th in Africa and 113th internationally.
Burundi which was not sampled last year is 23rd in Africa and 127th overall and, not surprisingly. DRC, dropped in the ranking.
The DRC remains politically unstable given the presence of numerous rebel groups in Eastern territory including the notorious FDLR.
Compared to last year, Somalia, again, comes last in Africa but has moved up by one slot to third from bottom on the world index.
Botswana, Malawi, Gabon, Ghana and Mozambique remain Africa’s most peaceful countries. The report says the world has gotten a little less peaceful compared to last year.
Currently, New Zealand tops the chart as the number one most peaceful country, followed by Denmark and Norway, while last year’s world-best – Iceland – has dropped to number four.
The third annual Index looks at 144 countries worldwide and, the United States remains comparatively constant in the middle, after only improving six points since last year – from 89th to 83rd.
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia are the world’s least peaceful countries, with Iraq in last place.