Global violence worsens, driven by Middle East conflicts: peace index
LONDON: The world has become increasingly violent with deaths from conflict at a 25-year high, terrorist attacks at an all-time high and more people displaced than at any time since World War Two, the 2016 Global Peace Index showed on Wednesday.
The annual index, which measures 23 indicators including incidents of violent crime, countries’ levels of militarisation and weapons imports, said intensifying conflicts in the Middle East were mostly to blame.
But beyond the Middle East, the world was actually becoming more peaceful, researchers behind the index said.
“Quite often, in the mayhem which is happening in the Middle East currently, we lose sight of the other positive trends,” said Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which produces the index.
“If we look in the last year, if we took out the Middle East … the world would have become more peaceful,” Killelea told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
More than 100,000 were killed in conflict in 2014, up from nearly 20,000 in 2008. Syria, where nearly 67,000 people were killed in 2014, accounted for the bulk of the increase, according to the index.
The United Nations has said the number of displaced people is likely to have “far surpassed” a record 60 million last year.
The index showed that most attacks it classed as terrorist were concentrated in five countries – Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.