Nearly 40% of countries around the world will face civil unrest in 2020 with flashpoints predicted in 75 nations, study warns
- New report states that 47 countries around the world saw civil unrest last year
- But that figure could rise to 75 in 2020 as flashpoints across the globe increase
- Hong Kong and Chile deemed the world’s ‘riskiest locations’ for severe protests
- Venezuela, Iran and Libya are considered at greater risk of civil unrest in 2020
Nearly a quarter of the world’s countries saw a dramatic surge in civil unrest last year, a trend that is likely to continue into 2020, a new study has warned.
Analysts predict that as many as 75 nations will see violence and demonstrations break-out this year, according to the report published today.
Hong Kong, Chile, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti and Lebanon were among the 47 states that saw significant rise in protests in 2019.
But data published by socio-economic and political analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, predicted that this year will see that number increase to 75 countries.
Riot police using pepper spray as an umbrella was thrown at them during a rally on New Years Day in Hong Kong, which was identified as a flashpoint for unrest by the report
Iranians chant slogans and hold a placard reading in Farsi ‘Your mistake was unintentional, your lie was intentional’ during a demonstration outside Tehran’s Amir Kabir University over the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet by government forces
Hong Kong and Chile were deemed the world’s ‘riskiest locations’ in terms of the severity and frequency of protests since the beginning of last year.
The report also predicted that the situation was unlikely to improve in either country over the next two years.
A co-author of the report identified the 10 countries most at risk of unrest in 2020 as Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Guinea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chile, Palestine and Ethiopia.
Other areas now considered hotbeds of civil protest include Nigeria, Lebanon and Bolivia.
Countries categorised as ‘extreme risk’ included Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Anti-government protesters cover their faces from the tear gas fired by riot police during protests in Beirut on Tuesday against the deepening financial crisis
Civil unrest struck in 47 nations across the globe last year with 75 nations expected to see protests this year. The bigger the circle (above) the more severe the demonstrations
The report authors state that, ‘the pent-up rage that has boiled over into street protests over the past year has caught most governments by surprise’.
Even if the root causes of the unrest around the globe are tackled immediately, ‘most of the grievances are deeply entrenched and would take years to address’, the report said.
Since the previous index release, Sudan has overtaken Yemen to become the highest risk country globally.
North Korea was identified as the most dangerous place to be a protester.
The index predicts 75 out of the 125 countries examined will see a deterioration in stability, meaning 40 per cent of all the world’s 195 nations will witness disruption and protest on some level.
This table shows the flashpoints that have seen the largest increases in unrest between the start of 2019 and early 2020. During this period, Chile and Hong Kong have plummeted in the ranking
Members of Bolivarian National Police stand guard at the National Assembly building yesterday due to attacks to opposition lawmakers who were trying to get inside
While states such as of Ukraine, Guinea Bissau and Tajikistan are forecast to experience the biggest rises in unrest, it is larger countries that could prompt the most concern in terms of the danger protesters could suffer from human rights abuses.
Risk of backlash by security forces over the next six months is deemed high in countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Thailand and Brazil.
The report states: ‘With protests continuing to rage across the globe, we expect both the intensity of civil unrest, as well as the total number of countries experiencing disruption, to rise over the coming 12 months.’
Maplecroft’s report said countries ‘rich in natural resources where mining and energy projects’ often need high levels of protection and could face ‘complicity’ if they hire private security firms.