Major headline news around the world has been filled with conflicts and violence. The average homicide rate is around 6.2 and 6.9 per 100,000 population according to Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime respectively. But the following 10 countries are in their own league and are widely considered one of the most dangerous countries on the planet.
List of 10 Most Dangerous Countries in the World
- South Sudan
- Democratic Republic of Congo
The endless war in Afghanistan continues. The war here started in 2001, specifically on October 2, 2001, the first NATO coalition air strike hit Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a safe haven for the Taliban, a radical Islamic group. Taliban has shared with Al Qaeda its mid-evil version of Islam. A decade of war has claimed the lives of two and a half thousand international soldiers. The conflict began with two main aims; finding Osama and overthrowing the Taliban regime which was brutal. Both of these objectives were achieved but the conflict continues to date. Although foreign forces have decided to leave the combat operations, it is unclear when this war will end as the Taliban is still there and still fighting hard.
Syria is by far the world’s most dangerous country right now because of the civil war involving ISIL, Al Nusra, and other terrorist groups. The conflict began with the nationwide protests against President Assad’s government. The Syrian military had responded heavy-handedly killing lots of protesters. Any chance of a peaceful resolution has died with the demonstrators. Small groups of armed rebels started to appear immediately. The conflict has changed from civil protest to armed rebellion and now turned into a full-blown civil war involving lots of terrorist groups. Since then the conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The sectarian war continues with different rebel groups fighting for domination. The only thing that is common in these groups is the deep hatred for Assad. With the rise of ISIL, the conflict has taken a very dangerous turn attracting Jihadi terrorists from all over the world. The only moderate group according to the US and its allies is Free Syrian Army, but unfortunately, defections from FSA to ISIL are occurring frequently as the ISIL is getting strong day by day. Killings, unrest, and kidnapping of foreign citizens across Syria is a common occurrences.
Portions of Pakistan’s tribal areas and border areas with Afghanistan are safe havens for terrorist groups. Countries like India and US have been accusing Pakistan of involvement in terrorist activities and state-sponsored terrorism. The country continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, inadequate public healthcare, malnutrition, and most importantly terrorism. Criminality is also a significant problem in Pakistan with crimes against minorities, illegal drug trade, arms trafficking, and kidnapping for ransom being among the most common violations.
Despite its vast government revenue from mining and petroleum, Nigeria is phased by a number of societal issues. More than three million people are facing a humanitarian crisis in three Northern regions hit by an Islamist lead insurgency. Boko Haram has been wreaking havoc in these parts of Nigeria. The conflict has displaced around two hundred and fifty thousand people. Bombing and ethnic cleansing have become a daily occurrence. This armed group got worldwide attention when they abducted more than 200 school girls from a school. Nigeria’s human rights record is appalling and government officials at all levels continue to be incredibly corrupt. Rape, torture, and other cruel inhumane degrading treatment of detainees are common. Boko Haram has waged an insurgency since 2009 to create a strict Islamic state in Northern Nigeria. Furthermore, vigilantly killing, child abuse, female genital mutilation, and discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, and religion are all rampant in this country.
5. South Sudan
Although it is a very young state gaining independence in 2011 following a referendum, criminal and political violence in South Sudan has resulted in numerous deaths. Power-sharing conflicts in South Sudan between multiple ethnic groups are the main cause of this chaos. Although South Sudan is rich in oil, the decades of civil war have left the country as one of the least developed in the world. International organizations have reported numerous incidents of human rights violations. The conflict has already claimed thousands of casualties. Even the UN has admitted that it did not expect the speed, gravity, and scale of ethnic tensions that have emerged in this country. The Sudanese region has been plagued by two civil wars and war in Darfur. Targeted killings of civilians based on their nationality and ethnic origins continue in South Sudan daily.
Crime is a serious problem and is driven by the country’s deteriorating economy. Periodic droughts and devastating civil war has ruined this country. Somalia is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. Most inhabitants live in poverty. The country has been plagued by violence by armed groups and terrorist groups like Al Shabaab. With a new president in charge, many thought January 2009 spelled a new beginning for Somali security. Just over a year later, the conflict began with opposition armed forces gaining strength. The political unrest and devastating poverty have resulted in rapid criminality. The Somali civil war started in 1991. It continues to struggle with major structural problems like most fragile states suffer from like low revenues, low services, and contested boundaries. Lots of armed rebel groups compete for influence in the country. The Al-Shabaab is the most powerful terrorist group in this region that has launched an all-out war with the government in this failed state. With opposition groups controlling most of the country, the government is facing a losing battle.
In 2003, the US has invaded Iraq because of its alleged weapons of mass destruction. The Iraq war has lasted almost nine years. Although it has officially ended in December 2011, the country has been in turmoil and the religious and sectarian conflict is still ongoing. The country is very fragile with ethnic tensions between Kurds, Shia’s, and Sunni’s. Sunni rebel uprising began and terrorist groups like ISIL have taken advantage of the Sunni oppression. Currently, the main problem in Iraq is the Islamic state which has expanded and taken over a large area of the country’s north including the provincial capitals of Mosul and Tikrit. The Syrian conflict has spilled over to Iraq and now ISIL is operating in both countries and wants to form an Islamic caliphate.
8. Democratic Republic of Congo
The country is extremely rich in natural resources but political instability and lack of infrastructure and a culture of corruption have historically limited its development. Violence skyrocketed as the armed groups try to gain control of the mineral-rich fields. Lord’s Resistance Army led by the infamous Joseph Kony came from Uganda to Congo and formed a base in Northern Congo and started terrorizing the entire country. Children are being kidnapped and used as child soldiers and sex slaves for the commanders. This country’s conflict is also one of the most under-reported conflicts in the world. The Congolese civil war beginning in 1996 devastated the country. Wars resulted in the deaths of 4.5 million people since 1998.
Yemen government and its security forces are often considered to suffer from rampant corruption. The government has been responsible for torture, inhuman treatment, and extrajudicial execution of the opponents. Al Qaeda and its leaders have formed a base in Yemen and are a major part of the conflict in this region. Houthis, a movement of Shia Muslims, who hails from Northern Yemen are fighting the government on two fronts. Press, freedom of speech, and religion are all restricted, and like in most Arab countries, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. Slavery is a reality to this day in this country.
Crime is among the most urgent concerns facing Honduras. With the highest homicide rate in the world, murder and mutilation are daily rituals in this country. Two brutal street gangs, the Maras 13 and 18 fight for dominance in territory. Honduras is the drug transit point. San Pedro Sula is right at the crossroads for drug shipments from South America to the US. Consequently, drug trafficking and organized crime have been major sources of violent crimes in Honduras. It is considered the most dangerous place on earth outside of war zone. More than 25 people are murdered each week. These drug gangs threaten and extort and those who do not pay, get killed. The police are too corrupt to do their job.