A New Short Film by Oxford Research Group

Oxford Research Group (ORG) has produced a new short film to showcase its work. The three minute film features ORG’s Professor Paul Rogers and Gabrielle Rifkind as well as their patron Dr Hans Blix and leaders of our dialogue projects in Palestine and Israel. It vividly explains the crucial importance of ORG’s work in fostering sustainable alternatives to militarism and safe spaces for strategic dialogue. To see the film go to:


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York Against the War

Public Meeting


Paul Rogers

Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies,

University of Bradford

Paul is a leading expert in the field of international security, arms control and political violence.

After more than a decade of war on terror global terrorism is increasing. Paul will look at the changing nature of war and argue that the world is becoming more dangerous and riddled with irregular war.

7.30pm Thursday November 10th
Friends Meeting House
Friargate, York YO1 9RL


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Protest at Fylingdales on Saturday 1st October 12.00 to 15.00

md-1Russia and China view the build up of US and NATO missile defence bases in Europe and the Pacific as destabilising and an aggressive threat to their nuclear deterrence strategies. This forward deployment of missiles and radars on their borders is not only preventing any progress in nuclear disarmament talks but is actually on the verge of reversing some of the agreements made on the stationing of nuclear weapons in Europe. At a time of increasing international tension and distrust it is important that we protest at the use of US bases in the UK for this purpose and for the global threat posed by the increasing militarisation of space.

The demo is one of the events during ‘Keep Space for Peace Week’, organised by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space to highlight the growing use of space by the military for communication, surveillance, targetting and management for power projection and military interventions.

The Fylingdales demo is shaping up to be a great mix of music, poetry and excellent speakers. Fabulous York band ‘Bull the Band’ will be playing us in (check them out at https://www.facebook.com/BullTheBand/). Speakers include Kate Hudson (General Secretary of CND), John Bourton (Chair of Veterans for Peace), Denise Craghill (York Green Councillor) and all the way from Germany, Konni Schmidt who will talk about missile defence and the protests against the Ramstein base in Germany, NATO’s Air Command HQ.

Meet 12.00 at Eller Beck, just north of Fylingdales on the A169 between Pickering and Whitby.

There will be food, hot drinks and a toilet by the marquee. The politics and entertainment will be followed by a march to the main gate at Fylingdales (about 1 mile), where we will hand in a letter to the Base Commander.

Speakers: Kate Hudson (General Secretary of CND), Konni Scmidt from Germany’s Stop Ramstein Campaign, John Bourton, Chair of Veterans for Peace, Denise Craghill , York Green Councillor.

For more detailed info about US missile defence see:


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The west’s indifference will doom Aleppo

Natalle Nougayrede
The Guardian Weekly 05.08.16


As Europe reels from terrorist attacks, Aleppo, once Syria’s second city, is suffering its own nightmare. The connection between these two developments is more than coincidence. As bombs, guns and knives were being wielded in France and Germany, a massive military operation was under way to besiege, and perhaps empty or starve, the eastern districts of Aleppo that since 2012 have been controlled by the anti-Assad rebellion.

When responding to the latest terror in Europe, few if any western officials draw parallels with the plight of Aleppo. That is understandable. Public opinion is naturally more focused on the domestic fallout from traumatic events. When security fears take over and political passions are aroused, it is hard to look beyond what lies in your immediate vicinity. Yet Aleppo will have consequences for Europe and for its citizens, and there is little cause to think they will be positive.

This is why: Islamic State cannot be defeated just through military action in Iraq and Syria, or police operations in Europe. It can be defeated only if the attraction that the militant group exerts on young, confused Sunni Muslims, in the Middle East and elsewhere, is somehow neutralised. The massacres carried out by the Assad regime in Syria over the past five years, and the failure of the international community to put an end to them – or even to hold his power accountable – have provided no small reason for the radicalisation now making Europe bleed.

The summer of 2015 went down in history as a time when the chaos of the Middle East suddenly became a vivid reality for Europeans because of the refugee crisis. The summer of 2016 may go down as the tipping point when all hope of a negotiated settlement in Syria’s civil war, one that would deprive Isis of much of its ability to recruit and sow terror, entirely faded.

In recent days, Bashar al-Assad’s army, assisted by Russian air power and Iranian-connected ground forces, has achieved its long-held objective of encircling eastern Aleppo, where 200,000 to 300,000 people are now helplessly stranded and under attack. Any European who remembers the 1990s should think about parallels with the siege of Sarajevo, and the Srebrenica massacre 21 years ago.

As one UN official put it this week: “In the 1990s, we said never again. Aleppo is the new Srebrenica.” Those who rightly express solidarity with refugees need to go one step further and ask why nothing has been done to prevent the mass atrocities that have sent so many people struggling over land and sea to reach our world. We should question the faulty western strategies that have focused entirely on combatting Isis and not on protecting Syrian civilians.

Right now more questions should be asked about Russia’s behaviour in Syria than about its cyber warfare in the US (however huge that story) because the consequences of Moscow backing Assad are a bigger threat to Europe’s liberal, democratic order. If Assad stays in power, which seems to be the ultimate goal of recapturing Aleppo, more – not less – radicalisation will ensue; the absence of political transition in Syria will fuel the Sunni anger that Isis thrives on. That, in turn, will lead to more terrorism in Europe, providing even more fertile ground for far-right movements who want to up-end fundamental democratic principles.

And if progressives who care about preserving those principles join the dots, they should realise the need to look a bit further outwards. However strong the “no more wars” slogans of the western left, in the past five years there have been no significant street demonstrations against the war that Assad and his allies have waged on Syrian civilians. What does that say about the solidarity with Muslims that many claim to profess?

We mourn our dead in Europe, and that sorrow cannot be minimised; but our difficulty in concentrating even a little on the suffering of Syrians may one day be something that haunts us. Rather than worry about how jihadi terrorists’ pictures are published in our newspapers, we’d do better to relentlessly draw attention to the wider picture of how an unravelling in the Middle East leads to a political unravelling in European societies; and we should spend more energy trying to overcome the difficulty of covering Syria and what its citizens are being put through.

There are no simple answers to the mess the Middle East finds itself in, but building awareness of how the safety of citizens in Europe cannot be dissociated from the question of protecting civilians in Syria should be a constant focus. In recent decades no large-scale atrocity, whether Rwanda, the Balkan wars or post-2003 Iraq, has affected Europe’s political and social fabric like the Syrian war has.

As Aleppo’s agonies deepen, the distant dream of a peaceful, democratic country emerging from the wreckage may live on among the Syrian diaspora in Europe. But in the meantime, it is our confusion and our fatalism – the “western bombs are the biggest problem” line, or the “what can we possibly do” line – that so many refugees live among.

It’s a good thing voices are calling for Europeans to stay steadfast and to refrain from conflating immigrants with terrorists. But we are still missing part of the equation: we can no longer ignore the connection between our fate and that of Syrians whose remaining hopes of being saved are fast dwindling.

The forces now besieging Aleppo are counting on our indifference as much as on their military hardware – witness the effort they have put into producing propaganda images. Russian and Syrian official announcements about “humanitarian safe passage” aren’t just aimed at tightening the noose on a whole population before it falls prey to a state machine of repression (a tactic from the Kremlin’s Chechnya war, by the way). They are also a ploy aimed at making the rest of us turn our gaze away, in the – not unfounded – belief that our attention span and our empathy for distant victims are limited.

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We must prepare for a 30-year war in the Middle East

Paul Rogers
Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford
19 November 2015

Twelve years ago, George W Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech from the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, confident that the Saddam Hussein regime had been consigned to the dustbin of history, the Taliban regime had been terminated, al-Qaeda was dispersed, if not destroyed, and the desperately needed New American Century was back on track.

That’s what he thought. Instead, over the following decade, hundreds of thousands died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

In the past two years, the latest manifestation of al-Qaeda’s terrorist ideology, Islamic State, has grown apace to affect millions of people across north-east Syria and north-west Iraq, even in the face of an intensive air campaign against them. The US air war, Operation Inherent resolve, has – according to the latest figures from the US Department of Defense – involved more than 8,125 airstrikes and has hit more than 16,000 targets. An estimated 20,000 IS supporters have been killled, yet the number of fighters that IS can deploy – between 20,000 and 30,000 – is unchanged.

Moreover, the assessment of US intelligence agencies last year that 15,000 people from 80 countries had joined IS and other extreme groups has been raised to 30,000 from 100 countries.

image-20151119-1601-1exlh7nMission accomplished: George W Bush on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 2003, US Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

War is good for IS. It relentlessly portrays itself as the defender of Islam under attack from crusader forces as it creates a rigid and determined caliphate, a pernicious world view hated by the overwhelming majority of Muslims – yet appealing to a tiny minority that is still worth proselytising.

Until last spring, IS concentrated primarily on developing and protecting its proto-caliphate. But it has now taken a leaf out of the old al-Qaeda book and extended its operations overseas.

This has taken two forms – developing connections with like-minded groups: whether in Libya, Nigeria, the Caucasus, Afghanistan or within the Middle East – and fostering direct attacks on the “crusaders”, whether it’s the tourists killed at the Bardo Museum and the Sousse resort in Tunisia or, more recently, on the Russian Metrojet, and during the horrific attacks in Paris.


Image published in Islamic State ‘Dabiq’ magazine shows according to IS the components that were used to build the bomb that brought down the Russian Metrojet. Dabiq

As IS no doubt hoped, France has reacted with renewed air strikes in Syria, and across the West there is talk of an expanded air war and even the use of ground troops. This will be music to the ears of the IS leadership. Some of them will be killed but what does that matter when they are part of a divine plan? Moreover, if their acolytes can carry out more attacks then there is a real chance of rampant Islamophobia evolving rapidly in France and elsewhere, with all the recruitment potential that it provides.

What should the West do?
If we follow the logic of IS wanting war and suggest quietly that it might not be a good idea, then the inevitable response is: “What should we do?”. It is not enough to say, for example, that we should not have invaded Iraq in the first place, true though that is. There are, though, some clear steps that can be taken to start the multi-year process of curbing IS.

An early priority is putting far greater emphasis on ending the Syrian civil war, the necessary precursor to constraining IS in Syria. There are some small signs of progress here with the two recent meetings in Vienna involving all the proxies to the war including Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. But the process must be accelerated and, however difficult, Assad and key militia leaders must somehow be engaged. It is the most difficult of all the tasks and will require the best skills of highly competent conflict resolution specialists.


Nusra Front fighter: just one of the many factions fighting in Syria and Iraq. Reuters/Ammar Abdullah

Close behind that in importance will be a huge and immediate effort to aid the 3m or more refugees from Syria and Iraq, principally in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, many of them facing an appalling winter while the UNHCR and other agencies struggle to provide support. The core motive must be humanitarian – but if help is not provided, these camps also will provide a remarkable recruiting ground for IS.

A third element is to work as hard as possible to encourage the Abadi government in Baghdad to reach out to the Sunni minority, especially in those many parts of Iraq where persistent neglect of that minority is helping maintain support for IS.

Finally, there is the issue of the expansion of IS, not least in Libya. The need to support UN attempts to bring stability to that country is urgent yet seriously lacking at present.

In this context, perhaps the most urgent need for any state seriously interested in preventing the further growth of extreme Islamist movements is to foster a change in the repressive policies of the Sisi government in Egypt. With more than 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters killed and well over 10,000 imprisoned, many under sentence of death, this is the one country that is ripe for Islamist expansionism.

None of these measures provides anything like a full answer to the many challenges of IS but they collectively point us in a different direction. We have recently entered the 15th year of what used to be called the “War on Terror” – and that war is about to intensify with little thought about the long-term effects or the reasons for past failures. If we do not take a new direction then we should prepare for a 30-year war.



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No Way Home: Iraq’s minorities on the verge of disappearance


Displaced boy in Ashti IDP camp in Erbil providing shelter to 1,200 mainly Christian families from Ninewa. © Jeff Gardner

© 2016 IILHR, MRG, NPWJ, UNPO – July 2016

This report has been produced as part of the Ceasefire project, a multi-year programme supported by the European Union to implement a system of civilian-led monitoring of human rights abuses in Iraq, focusing in particular on the rights of vulnerable civilians including vulnerable women, internally-displaced persons (IDPs), stateless persons, and ethnic or religious minorities, and to assess the feasibility of extending civilian led monitoring to other country situations.

Key findings

Since June 2014, many thousands of persons belonging to Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities have been murdered, maimed or abducted, including unknown numbers
of women and girls forced into marriage or sexual enslavement. Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) forces and commanders have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide, including summary executions, killing, mutilation, rape, sexual violence, torture, cruel treatment, the use and recruitment of children, and outrages on personal dignity. ISIS has used chemical weapons on these groups. Cultural and religious heritage dating back centuries continues to be destroyed, while property and possessions have been systematically looted. Other forces, including Iraqi Security Forces, Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga, have also committed war crimes prohibited under applicable international law.

After almost two years, conditions in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps remain desperate, and underresourced. There are more than 3.3 million displaced
persons, including minorities. Corruption is endemic. Many IDPs are now losing patience with return policies and restrictions, which are starting to generate further demographic changes in Iraq; as many as one in five IDPs feel that they have no choice but to flee the country. The anticipated displacement from a possible effort to retake Mosul
could total as many as 1 million over the next year and the international community could witness the flight of hundreds of thousands of further refugees in 2016 alone.

Many minority communities in Iraq are now on the verge of disappearance. The Christian population, which before 2003 numbered as many as 1.4 million, had dwindled to
350,000 by early 2014, and since the ISIS advance is now estimated as under 250,000. Most of the Yezidi and Kaka’i populations have been forced from their traditional lands
in Ninewa and are now subsisting as IDPs or have fled the country altogether. Similarly, Ninewa’s Shi’a Turkmen and Shabak have fled en masse to Shi’a majority areas in
the south of Iraq. Justice and reconciliation matters remain an unfortunately low priority for the governments in Baghdad and Erbil and, despite supportive rhetoric, for
the international community.

At the time of writing there appears to be no serious Iraqi or international effort to build the political, social and economic conditions for the sustainable return of those who
lost homes and livelihoods as a result of the conflict. Militias and unscrupulous local authorities are exploiting this vacuum. Thoughtful and realistic planning – with identification of financial and other resources – should begin immediately
for the post-ISIS era, including gaining agreement on the establishment of security to allow for the return of affected minorities to their original homes and lands.

This a summary of the key findings. The complete article can be found at: <http://minorityrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/MRG_CFRep_Iraq_Jun16_4.pdf>


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Iraq: Baghdad bombing kills more than 200

9378c2bfacc04ad79ab2cffcad982e4a_9ALJAZEERA 04 Jul 2016

More than 200 people have been killed in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, in a suicide bombing attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The bomb early on Sunday struck a crowded shopping area in the Karada district in central Baghdad, as people were gathering on one of the last evenings of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hundreds were also wounded in the powerful blast, and there were fears the death toll could rise even further as the bodies of some of the victims were still being pulled from the rubble of devastated buildings.

The massive bombing attack in Karada was the deadliest in Iraq so far this year.


People light candles in Karada where more than 100 died on Sunday in a car bombing for which Isis claimed responsibility. Photograph: Hadi Mizban/AP

Join the vigil for Baghdad – 3pm Sunday 17th July 2016 – outside York Minster.
There’s a Facebook page for this event here:

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Chilcot Report: key points from the Iraq inquiry

Guardian staff
Wednesday 6 July 2016

The Chilcot inquiry has delivered a damning verdict on the former prime minister Tony Blair’s decision to commit British troops to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It says:

The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted
Chilcot is withering about Blair’s choice to join the US invasion. He says: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein
Chilcot finds that Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he sought to make the case for military action to MPs and the public in the build-up to the invasion in 2002 and 2003. The then prime minister disregarded warnings about the potential consequences of military action, and relied too heavily on his own beliefs, rather than the more nuanced judgments of the intelligence services. “The judgments about Iraq’s capabilities … were presented with a certainty that was not justified,” the report says.

George Bush largely ignored UK advice on postwar planning
The inquiry found that the Bush administration repeatedly over-rode advice from the UK on how to oversee Iraq after the invasion, including the involvement of the United Nations, the control of Iraqi oil money and the extent to which better security should be put at the heart of the military operation. The inquiry specifically criticises the way in which the US dismantled the security apparatus of the Saddam Hussein army and describes the whole invasion as a strategic failure.

There was no imminent threat from Saddam
Iran, North Korea and Libya were considered greater threats in terms of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons proliferation, and the UK Joint Intelligence Committee believed it would take Iraq five years, after the lifting of sanctions, to produce enough fissile material for a weapon, Chilcot finds. Britain’s previous strategy of containment could have been adopted and continued for some time.

Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information’
The Chilcot report identifies a series of major blunders by the British intelligence services that produced “flawed” information about Saddam’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, the basis for going to war. Chilcot says the intelligence community worked from the start on the misguided assumption that Saddam had WMDs and made no attempt to consider the possibility that he had got rid of them, which he had.

The UK military were ill-equipped for the task
The UK’s military involvement in Iraq ended with the “humiliating” decision to strike deals with enemy militias because British forces were seriously ill-equipped and there was “wholly inadequate” planning and preparation for life after Saddam Hussein, the Chilcot report finds. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) planned the invasion in a rush and was slow to react to the security threats on the ground, particularly the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that killed so many troops, the report says.

UK-US relations would not have been harmed if UK stayed out of war
Chilcot rejected the view that the UK would have lost diplomatic influence if it had refused to join the war. “Blair was right to weigh the possible consequences for the wider alliance with the US very carefully,” the report says. But it adds: “If the UK had refused to join the US in the war it would not have led to a fundamental or lasting change in the UK’s relationship with the US.”

Blair ignored warnings on what would happen in Iraq after invasion
The report says that between early 2002 and March 2003 Blair was told that post-invasion Iraq could degenerate into civil war. In September 2002, the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, predicted “a terrible bloodletting of revenge after Saddam goes”, adding: “Traditional in Iraq after conflict.” Sir Christopher Meyer, UK ambassador to the US, added: “It will probably make pacifying Afghanistan look like child’s play.” Chilcot rejects Blair’s claim that the subsequent chaos and sectarian conflict could not have been predicted.

The government had no post-invasion strategy
According to Chilcot, Blair did not identify which ministers were responsible for postwar planning and strategy. The prime minister also failed to press Bush for “definitive assurances” about the US’s post-conflict plans. Nor did he envisage anything other than the best-case scenario once the invasion was over: that a US-led and UN-authorised force would find itself operating in a “relatively benign security environment”. All of this contributed to Britain’s ultimate strategic failure.

The UK had no influence on Iraq’s postwar US-run administration
The Bush administration appointed ambassador Paul Bremer to head a new coalition provisional authority in Baghdad. The UK had practically no input into subsequent decisions taken by Bremer, including the dissolving of Saddam Hussein’s army and security structures. This decision alienated the Sunni community and fed the insurgency. Blair continued to talk to Bush, but Britain had little influence on the ground over “day-to-day policymaking”.

The UK did not achieve its objectives in Iraq
Chilcot says that by 2009 when UK forces were pulled out of Iraq, Downing Street was facing strategic failure. Iraq was gripped by “deep sectarian divisions”. There was a fragile situation in Basra, rows over oil revenues, and rampant corruption inside Iraqi government ministries. No evidence had been found that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. During this period the government did not reappraise the situation, Chilcot says. He describes the results of Britain’s costly six-year occupation as “meagre”.

The government did not try hard enough to keep a tally of Iraqi civilian casualties
Before the war, Blair had said that the US-led invasion coalition would try to minimise civilian casualties. As the war and occupation unfolded, however, the MoD made only a “broad estimate” of how many Iraqis were being killed. The report says that more time was devoted to which department should have responsibility for the issue than was spent on finding out the number. The government’s main interest was to “rebut accusations that coalition forces were responsible for the deaths of large numbers”.

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The Guardian view on the Orlando shootings: a time for calm, and for sorrow

Gary Younge
The Guardian Weekly
17 June 2016

The first reaction to the dreadful crime in Florida – the worst mass shooting in US history – must be one of sympathy and solidarity for the victims and those who loved them, and for the city of Orlando. It is dreadful that people who had come out for an evening of joyful dancing, and of celebration of their freedom to love whom they will, should have their lives ended or shattered in gunfire. This is true, and overwhelmingly important, whatever the motives of the gunman turn out to be. Whether it is an act of organised terrorism remains to be discovered. We do not know whether the victims were murdered for being American, or gay, or for both reasons: Isis, after all, has a record of monstrous crimes and cruelties against gay people.

But while the police and the FBI go about their work of unpicking the background to the atrocity, responsible politicians need to show calm and resolution. The damage done to the victims and their families is dreadful enough. It is one of the tasks of leadership to minimise the damage that the attacks can do to wider society. This is a task in which – predictably – Donald Trump is failing. “When will we get tough, smart, and vigilent?” he tweeted to his followers: but there is no evidence that anyone in Orlando was anything less than tough, smart, or vigilant as the attack unfolded.

The awful truth is that American society is vulnerable to these attacks in a way that others are not because of its belief that freedom requires easy, widespread access to lethal weapons. While it is true that guns don’t kill people, as the slogan has it, people with guns do kill people, and they do so much more quickly and effectively than people without guns can manage.

The problem here is that the US, a country that valorises freedom above almost everything else, is damaging its real freedoms in pursuit of illusory ones. The freedom that was enjoyed – in both senses of the word – by the dancers at the Pulse nightclub is upheld by tolerance as well as by firm and unbiased enforcement of the laws. It is a general freedom for every kind of American: LGBT as well as straight, Muslim, atheist and Christian. This is what serves as a real beacon to the rest of the world. But this kind of freedom is also what the attack, and the possible reaction to it, must tend to damage.

Whateve the motives of the attacker turn out to be, no gay person in the US can feel as secure today as they did last Saturday – a rejection compouded by the existing refusal of the authorities to accept blood donations from sexually active gay men. This is an additional tragedy on top of the deaths. The country must not compound it by lurching from fear into fantasies of omnipotence, in which everything gets better if only the strong man lashes out at his enemies. That would damage exactly the freedoms it purports to defend.





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Conflict and terror cost world trillions, says peace index

Sam Jones
The Guardian Weekly
17 June 2016

The world’s expensive  slide into violence and unrest continued last year, with conflict, terrorism and political instability costing the global economy $13.6 trillion, according to the annual global peace index.

The 2016 index, which analysed 163 countries and territories, rates Syria the least peaceful country, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The world’s most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal.

While levels of peace improved in 81 countries, the gains were undermined by larger deteriorations in another 79, meaning that peace declined at a faster rate than in the previous year. Among the greatest destabilising factors were terrorism, political turmoil and the intensification and persistence of wars in Syria, Ukraine, Central African Republic and Libya.

The Middle East and North Africa is once again the least peaceful region. Three of the five biggest declines in peace were in the region – Yemen, Libya and Bahrain. Violence and conflict in the region are so fierce that, when considered separately, peace in the rest of the world improved. The report says terrorism is at an all-time high, battle deaths from conflict at a 25-year high, and the number of refugees and displaced people are at a level not seen in 60 years.

Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, which produces the index, said in Middle Eastern and north African countries “external parties are increasingly becoming more involved and the potential for indirect or ‘war by proxy’ between nation states is rising”.

By the beginning of 2015, a record 59.5 million people – one in every 122 humans – were either refugees, internally displaced or seeking asylum.

South Asia remains the second least peaceful region, with deteriorations in Afghanistan,
Nepal, Bangladesh and India, but modest improvements in Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In sub-Saharan Africa, Islamist terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and violence in South Sudan have damaged efforts to bring peace and stability.

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