The Gambia has made a dismal showing in the recently released peace ranking by Global Peace Index (GPI). The ranking is an annual initiative by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace, and use it to measure human well-being and progress. Gambia ranked 99th position out of the 162 countries surveyed.
The index uses 23 metrics from respectable sources around the world to determine the quality the quantity of peace a country enjoys. For many years, The Gambia has been widely renowned for its peacefulness and tranquility in a continent beleaguered by conflicts. But a new dawn under military dictatorship, later transformed into an emergent pseudo-democratic republic, created a negative impact on the quality of peace as defined by GPI. In fact, Gambia’s GPI has deteriorated progressively over the past couple of years. Last year the country ranked 94 which was worse than the 92 rank the year prior.
According to GPI, Gambia’s score was 2.086, giving it 20th position among African countries. The 23 metrics use by GPI are classify under three broad indicators to determine the peacefulness or otherwise of a country. These three indicators are, the level of safety and security in the society, the extent of domestic and international conflicts and the third, the degree of militarization.
The Gambia scored average on two of the indicators, but woefully on militarization and conflicts in the society. The score of 1.5 out of 5 on militarization will not be too surprising to Gambians who have witnessed a dramatic decline in free speech as the country is inundated with secret informers and an over zealous security apparatus.