June 28, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan has expressed doubts over the political impartiality of international ranking institutions following the country’s inclusion on a list of failed states published on 24 June.
- Thousands of civilians fleeing violence seek shelter at a UN compound in Jonglei state capital, Bor (Photo: UNMISS/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos)
“Sometimes our people begin to wonder and question the credibility and the impartiality of these ranking institutions. They (people) do not understand which indicators do these institutions use and where exactly do they get their sources of information,” South Sudan’s deputy parliamentary speaker, Mark Nyipuoc, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday
“Sometimes you find these institutions relying on rumours in the media, without approaching the right institutions so that they are given the right information they want from the right institutions,” he added.
Nyipuoc is the first leading official from the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to react the report, which was released last week by the Fund for Peace, a Washington-based non-profit organisation that compiles the annual list based on the performance of countries around the world.
The young nation topped the list of fragile states, ending Somalia’s six-year rein at the top of the index, with fractious leadership, mass killings and ethnic violence cited as some of the factors contributing to the ranking.
The index is based on 12 key social, economic and political indicators, including demographic pressures, poverty and economic decline, human rights and political impasse.
In 2012, a year after gaining its independence from the north, South Sudan was ranked fourth in the Failed States Index (FSI), retaining its position in 2013, but with worsened scores.
The top six most fragile states were all in Africa, including Sudan at number five, with Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti and Pakistan rounding out the top 10.
However, Nyipuoc has argued that the ranking was unfair and does not take into consideration that the country is young and cannot be expected to be on the same par as countries which have had their independence for many years.
“You cannot use social indicators from the countries which have been independent for more than 50 years with a country which is just two years old,” he said. “It’s just like a two-year-old child, which cannot be expected to do things adult do. We are just starting from scratch … These countries that are mentioned in the reports have industries which support the economy of the country. They also have other sources of revenues,” he added.
Although South Sudan ranked at the top of this year’s index, it was only the sixth most-worsened country, with Central African Republic (CAR) named in the number one position.
South Sudan has been mired in violence since mid-December last year after escalating political tensions turned violent.
The conflict has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.3 million people, leading to warnings from international aid agencies that the country is facing a looming humanitarian catastrophe.