zimbad (19-06-07)

By Nqobizitha Khumalo

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe was ranked among 10 states in the world at most
risk of
violent internal conflict and upheaval in a survey by the United States
Foreign Policy magazine and the US Fund for Peace.

The survey whose results were relea

sed last week placed Zimbabwe –
economic collapse, hyperinflation and acute food shortages – fourth on
list of states at risk of failure, only behind the strife-torn Arab
republics of Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.

Analysts for the Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace, which
is a
non-profit organization dedicated to conflict resolution, assessed 177
countries across the world and rated them based on 12 social, economic,
political and military indicators.

The indicators cover a wide range of elements associated with state
such as extensive corruption and criminal behavior, large-scale
dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based
inequality, institutionalised persecution or discrimination, brain
drain and
environmental decay.

Zimbabwe has not experienced civil war but the country has faced
violence and gross human rights abuses since 1999 when the main
Movement for Democratic Change party emerged as the first real threat
President Robert Mugabe’s decades long hold on power.

The southern African country has also witnessed an unprecedented
meltdown after Mugabe’s farm seizures destabilised the mainstay
sector. The economy, once of the most vibrant in Africa, has contracted
by a
third since 2000 when the government began confiscating white
farms to give to landless blacks.

The survey ranked Sudan as the most vulnerable state due to the raging
crisis in its Darfur region. Iraq is second, while the four African
of Chad, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea also made
into the top 10 of failed states.

A key feature noted in the failed states annual report was that three
of the
worst performing states, Chad, Sudan and Zimbabwe had leaders who have
in power for more than 15 years.

Mugabe, 83, has ruled Zimbabwe since its 1980 independence from Britain
is seeking another five-year term in 2008, which will take his reign to
than three decades.

The report warns that failed states are not just a danger to themselves
to other countries noting how turmoil in Sudan, an oil producing
country, as
having effect on other countries in the world.

“You just cannot turn your eyes away from mass atrocities, which often
accompany failing states,” said Fund for Peace president Pauline Baker.

There have been fears that Zimbabwe’s crisis, already blighting the
image of
the southern African region as an investment destination, could
the entire region were the country, tucked at the heart of the Southern
African Development Community, totally collapsed into violence and
anarchy. – ZimOnline

Post published in: News

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