The world’s newest country, South Sudan, has topped the list of fragile states in this year’s index released by a leading US-based research institute.
Chronic instability, fractured leadership and growing ethnic conflict made it the most fragile state, The Fund for Peace said.
The top six countries on the index are all in sub-Saharan Africa.
Afghanistan was listed as the seventh most fragile state followed by Yemen, Haiti and Pakistan. Syria is 15th.
The institute has been compiling the index for the past 10 years after analysing social, economic and political indicators.
The “most improved” nations in 2014 were Iran, Serbia, Zimbabwe and Cuba, which have all had frosty relations with the US.
In contrast, the US and France were among countries where the situation had worsened the most because of “political and economic malaise”.
South Sudan replaced Somalia at the top of the index – a position it had occupied since 2008.
Source: BBC News