Contrary to what the United States State Department would have you believe, the world is not out to get you. In most countries, people are quite similar: they work, they have families, they like to relax with a beer among friends. But, there are still some very, very dangerous places in our world.
With terror levels at sixty-year highs, soaring numbers of displaced refugees, and record battle deaths, some areas of the world are now more dangerous than ever. Not surprisingly, most are located in the Middle East and Africa. According to the latest annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, here are 5 of the world’s most dangerous countries:
As of 2016, Syria is in its fifth year of a brutal and bloody civil war. With a peace score of 3.806 (out of 5, where higher is more dangerous), it continues to be the world’s most dangerous country. While the exact numbers tend to be best guesses, it’s estimated that more than 250,000 have died, and more than nine million Syrians (roughly half the country’s total population) have been displaced in the fighting.
In the last five years, South Sudan has both gained its independence from Sudan and been embroiled in an ongoing civil war. The resulting figures are staggering — an estimated 300,000 killed, one million displaced within South Sudan, and more than 400,000 have fled to neighboring countries. The country’s geography and seat of power continue to shift on a seemingly weekly basis, making it one of the most unstable destinations in the world.
Iraq & Afghanistan
Not surprisingly, Iraq and Afghanistan are nearly tied for third with a PI score of 3.570 and 3.538 respectively. The impact of terrorism around the world is at record highs and both countries, in particular, suffer from heavy infighting among clashing religious sects and organized military outfits. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for the strife in either destination.
Due to an ongoing civil war raging since the late 80s/early 90s, Somalia has been in continuous turmoil. Various rebel factions have unseated and transferred the country’s “official” government power many times over the last 30 years. With the United States now working closely with the current Somali government, the country is working toward unification by fully dissolving Al-Shabaab (al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia).
In case you’re wondering, Iceland is the safest country in the world for the sixth year running.