Today a ceasefire agreement has been signed by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar at negotiations in Ethiopia.
Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 when Riek Maschar and his supporters took up arms against the government. Reflecting this, South Sudan suffered the largest deterioration on the Global Peace Index, falling 16 places to rank 160th of 162 countries.
As is the case with many of the other sub-Saharan conflicts that have flared up the past year, the South Sudanese conflict has a clear ethnic dimension, as shown by the support given by the Nuer minority to the rebels, while the government is backed by the Dinka majority. According to IISS data, around 5,000 people have since been killed in the fighting and possibly as many as one million have been displaced.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, South Sudan’s score on the Global Peace Index deteriorated quite severely in most key indicators and obtained the worst possible score in those indicators relating to the number of external and internal conflicts fought, level of violent crime and perceived criminality in society, political instability and ease of access to small arms.
The Global Peace Index measures the state of peace in 162 countries according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of peace. Find out more about how the index is constructed, a description of the indicators and the scores.
UNDP says the path to development for South Sudan is a marathon, not a sprint.
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