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'Failed State' - Somalia instability draws down Kenya ranking
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kenya has risen higher up on the global ranking of failed states, pulled down by mounting refugee challenges, attacks by armed Somali Islamists and the poor recovery from the post election violence, a new worldwide survey of 177 countries done by a U.S. think-tank showed Thursday.

Kenya’s neighbor, Ethiopia, performed slightly better on the rating, based on a measure of 13 different parameters of governance, including crime, corruption and political governance.

The U.S. Peace Fund and the Foreign Policy Magazine published the index based on a study of 13 key factors, including movement of refugees, security threats, economic difficulties and human rights violations.

Kenya’s fall from the lower segments of the rating has been drastic since 2006, when the East African nation was ranked at position 34 before its 2007 presidential election which resulted into violence.

The country’s continuing rise from the bottom of the index was partly linked to the crisis in the Horn of Africa region and the Great Lakes region.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the second in the list after Somalia on the ranking of the world’s most failed states, followed by Sudan, the third on the index.

The Fund for Peace considered three sectors, which are social, economic and political governance. Kenya’s poor ranking was based on a measure of rising slums in towns and cities, growing populations and the constant movement of refugees into its territorial borders.

On the political side, the countries were ranked on arbitrary application of the law, the rise of a club of elites, the intervention of external political agents and the worsening of public services.

"For the past two years, the country has stayed put at position No. 16, coinciding with the approval of the new constitution in 2010 and the International Criminal Court (ICC) pressing charges against the alleged organizers of the post-election violence," the Foreign Policy Magazine said.

The magazine noted that the launch of the Kenyan military operation in Somalia also exerted further pressure on Kenya’s governance situation, leading to constant terrorism attempts and mass refugee movements along the common border with Somalia.

Kenyans on Thursday criticized on social media fora what they considered was a "harsher verdict" on the East African nation, compared to Ethiopia on the same list.

"I would like to think that since 2003 the democracy has grown, healthcare is more widely available, women, children and human rights are better, malaria and AIDs are on the decline and agricultural practices are better," a Kenyan blogger said.


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