The Fund for Peace, an independent, nonpartisan research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security, has just released its 2012 Failed States Index. As in 2011, it evaluated 177 countries. Click here to see the ranking of all 177 countries.
The Horn of Africa, as in the past, did abysmally. All countries in the region did the same or worse than in 2011. Somalia topped the list at most failed in both 2012 and 2011. Sudan ranked third in both years. Although South Sudan was not officially ranked in either year, the Fund for Peace put it right after Sudan, effectively position three and a half.
Countries from other regions took the next twelve positions. Kenya was in 16th place, the same as in 2011 followed by Ethiopia in 17th place, down from number 20 in 2011. Uganda held position number 20, down one ranking from 2011. Eritrea dropped from number 28 in 2011 to 23 in 2012 and Djibouti fell even further from position number 60 in 2011 to 53 in 2012, still the best ranking for all the countries in the Horn.
The Failed States Index is, in my view, an imprecise measure. Kenya's low ranking, for example, makes no sense to me. Nevertheless, the Index is a useful guide on the relative threat to nations around the world.