TERROR attacks have blighted 2017, but which countries are considered the most dangerous in the world? nigeriatoplist will lists the 10 countries to avoid in 2017.
These included mass shootings in Turkey and a lorry ploughing into a German market just before Christmas in Berlin.
However, some countries are much worse than others when it comes to danger levels. The Global Peace Index (GPI), which is compiled annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, lists the countries that are the most – and least – peaceful.
10. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
DPRK, otherwise known as North Korea, is listed as the least peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific area on the GPI. In its annual report, human rights charity Amnesty International said of the country: “North Koreans continued to suffer denial and violations of almost every aspect of their human rights. Authorities continue to arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals without fair trial or access to lawyers and family, including nationals of South Korea.
“Households, particularly those with members suspected of having fled the country or trying to access outside information, remained under systematic surveillance.
“Little progress has been made in addressing cases of abductions and enforced disappearances of foreign nationals.
Listed as having a “very low” state of peace by the GPI, Pakistan has endured much internal conflict. Armed groups continued to carry out targeted attacks against civilians last year, including health workers and civilians affiliated with the government, according to Amnesty International. Executions were resumed following a Pakistani Taliban-led attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, and more than 300 executions were recorded in the last year.
Enforced disappearances continue with impunity, with bodies being found later bearing what appear to be bullet wounds and torture marks.
In addition, women and girls continue to face violence and threats.
8. Democratic Republic of Congo
Many of the most dangerous countries listed are in the continent of Africa – the Middle East and North African regions have become significantly less peaceful in 2016 according to the GPI. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been beset by issues over the last year – attempts by President Kabila to run for presidency beyond the two terms allowed by the Constitution led to protests, which were then repressed by the Congolese Government.
Violations of the rights to freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly increased, according to Amnesty International.
In the east, numerous armed groups perpetrated serious abuses of human rights. The Congolese army and UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO failed to protect the civilian population, leading to a high death toll and mass displacements.
7. Central African Republic
The Central African Republic has been volatile since it gained independence from France back in 1960.
With one of the world’s poorest populations, it was plunged into turmoil in 2013 when Muslim rebels seized power in what is a majority Christian country.
In 2014, they handed power to a transitional government in response to international pressure, but this was followed by months of violence.
The Central African Republic is going through an internationally supervised transition with a constitutional referendum, plus presidential and parliamentary elections – but the country is still in turmoil, with thousands of people displaced.
Another African country, Sudan, has been beset by violence.
According to Human Rights Watch, Government forces have committed serious attacks against civilians in the last two years, including widespread killings, rape and destruction of property, in the conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.
Sudanese authorities restricted civil society and independent media, and suppressed protests and demonstrations.
Ranked as the 159th least peaceful country out of 163 in the GPI, Somalia is suffering from extreme drought conditions that have left thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages, according to a United Nations report issued on 17 January 2017.
Overall, some five million people are in need of relief and over three million people lack access to emergency health services and require improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
“Immediate support is required to prevent a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation,” said Peter de Clercq, the humanitarian coordinator for Somalia.
Five years after US troops withdrew from Iraq, the human rights situation continues to deteriorate. Government security forces, government-allied militias and the armed group Islamic State (IS) committed war crimes and human rights abuses in 2016, according to Amnesty International.
Government forces carried out indiscriminate attacks on areas under IS control, and committed extrajudicial executions. IS forces carried out mass execution-style killings and abductions, including abductions of women and girls for sexual slavery.
Courts continued to impose death sentences, mostly on terrorism charges; dozens of executions were carried out.
Most dangerous countries: These are the 10 places to avoid in 2017
3. South Sudan
South Sudan has seen much violence in 2016.
According to a report by the United Nations in July, hundreds of people were killed in South Sudan during an outbreak of violence between 8 and 12 July, and more than 200 people were raped.
“The fighting that erupted in July 2016 was a serious setback for peace in South Sudan and showed just how volatile the situation in the country is, with civilians living under the risk of mass atrocities,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
With the lowest peace ranking in South Asia on the GPI, Afghanistan has seen growing insecurity, with insurgency and criminal activity worsening across the country, according to Amnesty International. The Taliban are still active, and increasingly attack civilian targets.
Internal conflict has displaced tens of thousands of people. The majority did not receive any humanitarian assistance from the government.
Afghanistan has also continued to apply the death penalty, often after unfair trials.
Ranked the least peaceful country out of the 163 listed in the GPI, Syria is the most dangerous country in the world.
According to Amnesty International, Government forces have carried out indiscriminate attacks there that directly targeted civilians, including bombardment of civilian residential areas and medical facilities with artillery, mortars, barrel bombs and, reportedly, chemical weapons.
Government forces also enforced lengthy sieges, trapping civilians and depriving them of food, medical care and other necessities.
By the end of the year, the UN estimated that the conflict had caused the deaths of 250,000 people, forced 7.6 million people to become internally displaced and led 4.6 million people to become refugees abroad.