Minority Rights Group International (MRG) has released its Peoples under Threat survey that seeks to identify those peoples or groups that are most under threat of genocide, mass killing or other systematic violent repression in 2010.
According to the MRG survey, close international scrutiny on events in Sudan and Somalia is vital in the next year as both countries top the global ranking. Apart from Sudan and Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Chad and Nigeria are all on the top ten list of countries. In each of these States, violence against ethnic and religious minorities of a widespread or systematic character is ongoing, MRG warns.
“Renewed political instability and ongoing fragility in Sudan is a clear warning that the future of Africa’s largest country is at stake,” Marusca Perazzi, MRG spokesperson, said. “Minority communities face enormous threats from continuing and potentially new violence.”
And although the African continent displays some examples of model practice in the political participation of minorities, the survey finds, the persistence of conflict, the legacy of colonialism, and the continued abuse of ethnic differences for political advantage all contribute to the position of so many African States in the danger list.
Russia and the Philippines are also at the top of this year’s list as two other major risers in the survey. According to MRG, the list of States that have risen most prominently in the table this year are those which have all been the scene of past mass violence, and whose fall down the risk register in recent years has now suddenly been reversed – putting the lives of tens of thousands under threat.
“Those governments who are most likely to kill their own people are those who have done it before,” Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of MRG said. “Over the next year close international scrutiny should focus on both South Sudan and on Russia’s North Caucasus, as well as other regions where renewed conflict carries the risk of atrocities being committed against minorities,” he added.
Over the last five years, Peoples under Threat has pioneered the use of statistical analysis to identify situations around the world where communities are at risk of mass killing. The ranking, which is an early warning and prevention tool, lists countries based on the threat to civilian life of genocide, mass killings and/or systematic violent repression. The survey with a description of how it was compiled is available online: www.minorityrights.org.
MRG is a non-governmental organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide.
The full report, an online briefing and full tables are available online.