Sierra Leone has dropped 19 places in the 2024 Global Peace Index (GPI), falling from 47th in 2023 to 66th out of 163 countries.

The Global Peace Index is a global list of countries ranked by peace and stability from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). In 2024, Sierra Leone scored 1.993 and ranked 66 out of 163 countries.

The ranking is based on 23 different factors, including political instability, terrorist activity, deaths from conflict, and military expenditure.

Sierra Leone’s decline may be linked to political instability and violence following the disputed June 2023 presidential election, a boycott of parliament, and an attack on a military barracks and prison in Freetown in November. The economic situation also worsened in 2023, impacting food security.

The June 2023 presidential election results were disputed by the main opposition party, All People’s Congress (APC), who alleged rigging. This led to a boycott of parliament and a questioning of President Julius Maada Bio’s legitimacy.

In November 2023, gunmen attacked a military barracks and prison in Freetown, the capital. This upsurge in violence raised fears of a return to the country’s dark past of civil war.

Similarly, the year 2023 also saw a worsening economic situation in Sierra Leone. This, coupled with political instability, created a precarious situation for food security, as highlighted by the World Food Programme.

Iceland remains the most peaceful country for the 16th consecutive year, followed by Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, and Singapore. Yemen has replaced Afghanistan as the least peaceful country, followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

The 2024 GPI recorded the largest deterioration in peacefulness since its inception in 2008, driven primarily by conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, with 97 countries experiencing decreased peacefulness.