WASHINGTON, June 24: Seven of the world’s 10 most dysfunctional countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, an annual survey says. The state of affairs obtaining in the seven countries is due largely to continuing mayhem either in Somalia or in Sudan.

The top 10, in order, are Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Chad, Iraq, Congo, Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Pakistan and the Central African Republic.

Somalia, at the tip of the Horn of Africa, has been without a functioning central government since warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Their ensuing conflict remains unsettled, and conditions have slipped steadily downwards.“In many ways, Somalia has failed already as the unpopular transitional government lacks control of the streets of Mogadishu, much less the rest of the country,” the list’s compilers wrote.

The only non-African country in the first five of the “Failed States Index” was No 5, Iraq. The compilers said Iraq ranked so high because of the US military surge in 2007.

“The gains that one might hope for --- those that reflect fundamental, long-term changes --- did not occur,” the compilers said.

Also, for the first time, Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank slipped into the index’s top 60 at No 58, just behind Angola and Georgia. Israel itself is stable and strong, but it remains responsible for the Palestinians, and “deep divisions still linger under the surface,” the authors wrote.

The index uses 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators to rank 177 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and the deterioration of their civil society. It is compiled annually by the independent magazine Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace, an independent research organisation.—AP



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