June 26, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan has been named the world’s “most fragile” state, ending Somalia’s six-years atop the Fragile State Index, a new report says.
The report, issued by the United States-based Fund for Peace (FFP), blames chronic instability, fractured leadership and growing ethnic conflict for South Sudan’s poor ranking.
Having attained independence in July 2011, the new nation featured in the then Failed States Index (FSI) a year later and was ranked fourth. It retained this ranking in 2013, but with worsened scores.
“The country’s independence, while initially giving cause for celebration, is now giving only cause for concern as its politics and leadership grows increasingly fractious, and mass killings – especially targeting specific ethnic groups – gains momentum,” partly reads the report.
South Sudan has been experiencing violent conflict, which has killed thousands of people and displaced over a million both internally and into its neighboring countries.
The top six countries on the index are all in sub-Saharan Africa, with Afghanistan listed seventh most fragile state followed by Yemen, Haiti and Pakistan. The report, however, cited Iran, Serbia, Zimbabwe and Cuba as the most improved countries in this year’s rankings.
Annually produced by FFP, the report mainly highlights global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states and is widely considered a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure.