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Conflict Bulletin: Bayelsa State - July 2014

Published July 10, 2014 | By Nate Haken*

With 1.7 million people, Bayelsa is one of the smallest states in the country, by population. Most residents are of Ijaw descent. Bayelsa produces between 30-40% of Nigeria’s oil and gas. In addition to the petroleum sector, the state has an extensive commercial fishing industry and produces oil palm, raffia palm, rubber, and coconut. In February 2012, Henry Dickson (PDP) was elected as governor after a period of uncertainty in the wake of Governor Timipre Sylva’s termination in January 2012. Since then the number of fatalities has reduced, but has fluctuated with periodic instances of cult violence, abductions, and attacks on energy infrastructure.

Conflict Bulletin: Rivers State - July 2014

Published July 10, 2014 | By Nate Haken*

Among the largest of the oil-producing Nigerian states, Rivers had been at the heart of the Niger Delta militancy until 2009. Currently, the state is beset with a different array of issues as some former combatants have turned to criminality and uneven economic development continues to pose a challenge to sustainable peace and human security. The following bulletin is a closer look at the patterns of conflict risk at the local level.

Voices of Peace from Nigeria - Children in Conflict

Published July 8, 2014 | By Laura Brisard

When there is conflict, the entire community is affected. The most vulnerable, however, are children. Two members of the Partners for Peace network tell their stories about what happened to them more than 40 years ago, when they were little children during the Biafran War. These events may have occurred a long time ago, but the stories still resonate today. Around the world, as many as a billion children live in conflict affected areas. Half the Nigerian population is under the age of 18, making it among the youngest countries in the world. In Nigeria and elsewhere, it is the most innocent who are the most at risk during times of violence.

Measuring South Sudan: How Soon is Too Soon?

Published July 6, 2014 | By J.J. Messner

Every year the Fragile States Index (FSI) receives its fair share of compliments and criticism, the former often from those who wish to highlight and measure the challenges faced by countries, the latter often from those whose interests or sensibilities have been offended. This is par for the course for any organization that seeks to undertake the kind of research and analysis that FFP has done for 57 years. But every year we are often surprised by particularly unexpected commentary.

Predicting the World Cup (Assuming State Fragility Had Anything To Do With It)

Published July 3, 2014 | By J.J. Messner*

The Fragile States Index (FSI) is serious business, and it requires serious analysis and contemplation. Though the findings of the FSI should not be made light of, there is another pretty serious business going on right now: the World Cup. What if we combined these two themes? Is there any correlation between state fragility (or stability) and footballing proficiency? Could we predict the winner of the World Cup based on the FSI?

Fragile States Index 2014: Somalia Displaced as Most-Fragile State

Published June 24, 2014 | By J. J. Messner

As much as the 2014 Fragile States Index is significant for being the tenth anniversary of the Index (and for being the first to be named “Fragile States Index” rather than “Failed States Index”), it is especially notable for the change at the top: after six years in the number one position, Somalia has finally been overtaken, leaving South Sudan as the most fragile state in the world.

Statehood or Bust: The Case of South Sudan

Published June 24, 2014 | By Patricia Taft

It took three years, a slide from growing dysfunction to rapid escalation in violence, and more than a fair share of international hand-wringing to arrive at this place: South Sudan is the world’s most fragile state. What occurred in the twelve months since the last Fragile States Index — when the world’s newest country ranked fourth — to this year, where it is the chart-topper, is as complicated as the facets of state-building itself. Nonetheless, a few salient lessons might be culled even at this early stage, if not to prevent a further slide, but to at least manage expectations going into the future.

Press Release: Fragile States Index 2014 Released

Published June 24, 2014 | News from The Fund for Peace

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Fund for Peace today released the tenth edition of its annual Fragile States Index (FSI), highlighting global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states. For the first time, the 2014 FSI ranks South Sudan as number one, after Somalia had held that position for the previous six straight years; Somalia now drops to second. Newly-independent South Sudan finds itself burdened by increasingly fractious leadership and politics, severe internal strife, and widespread mass killings, frequently ethnically-based. Meanwhile, Finland has remained in the best position. The United States remains ranked at 159th, however its score worsened by 1.9 points, a relatively significant fall.

Most Improved Country for 2014: Iran

Published June 24, 2014 | By Felipe Umaña

Iran, despite its hefty domestic and international political issues and obdurate theocratic government, has taken several gradual but important steps to improve its standing on the world stage over the past year. These improvements, which occurred in all but one of the twelve indicators analyzed, have made it the 2014 Fragile States Index’s most improved country.

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