• Eswatini dropped by 24 positions as it was ranked 69 out of 163 in 2021. Index notes that deterioration follows political unrest and violent demonstrations that took place in 2021.
  • Eswatini, however, is still ranked better than South Africa, which sits at 118
  • The GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness and is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

By Ntokozo Nkambule

The Kingdom of Eswatini has been ranked 93 out of 163 by the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2022. This is the 16th edition of the GPI, which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. The GPI data was recorded between 1 April 2021 and 1 March 2022.

The report is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), based in Sydney, Australia. The GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies. Eswatini was ranked 69 out of 163 in 2021, which signals a decline of 24 positions.

The survey states that Eswatini recorded deteriorations in all violent demonstration scores, signaling rising discontent in the country. The measures used in violent demonstrations are:

  • Number of Protests with Interventions
  • Number of Excessive force against protesters events 
  • Number of Violent Demonstrations
  • Number of Mob Violence events
  • Number of Deaths

It further notes that the violent demonstrations were sparked by the death of a University student. “The wave of protests started in May 2021, following the death of a 25-year-old law student in circumstances that suggested police involvement. This was followed by petitions calling for the end of police brutality and led to protests, mostly by students and teachers calling for more accountability in the country. The Acting Prime Minister issued a decree banning protests, which marked a hardline approach toward demonstrators. This was followed by law enforcement quashing protests with water cannons and tear gas. Activists accused authorities of human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, and forced interrogations.” notes the study.

South Africa, the country’s biggest trading partner, is ranked 118 out of 2022. This is an improvement considering that they were ranked 123 in 2021. Their improvement is despite them experiencing civil unrest in 2021.

Mauritius ranks as the most peaceful country in Africa and 28 out of 163 globally. South Sudan ranks as the least peaceful country in the continent, sitting at 159 out of 163.  Globally, Iceland is the number one most peaceful country, and Afghanistan is the least peaceful country.

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