Country close-up: Burkina Faso on the Global Peace Index

The West African country has suffered a steep setback in peacefulness.

Global Peace Index ranking: 104 out of 163 countries
Change in ranking: down 26 rankings

Burkina Faso had the second largest deterioration in peacefulness, behind Nicaragua, falling from 78th to 104th on the Global Peace Index (GPI) rankings. Peacefulness has declined steadily in the West African country since 2011. Its 2019 score deteriorated by 0.153 or 7.6 per cent compared to the previous year, reflecting deteriorations in all three domains, with the largest fall in the Ongoing Conflict domain of the GPI.

Burkina Faso deteriorated on ten of the 23 GPI indicators in the past year. The three largest indicator deteriorations were in intensity of internal conflict, perceptions of criminality and terrorism impact. Increasing numbers of militant attacks have occurred across an expanding geographic area, and in particular a terrorist attack in late December led to the declaration of a state of emergency on December 31st. Inter-communal violence and terrorist attacks, due mainly to ethnic rivalries and religious differences, have continued into 2019, with hundreds of civilian deaths since November.

The growth and spread of vigilante groups to tackle local crime and insecurity reveals a growing degree of mistrust in state institutions. The country had a rise in the number of refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDP), with over 10,000 refugees fleeing the country and more than 16,000 IDPs as of mid-2018.