By NATION REPORTER
ZAMBIA has dropped from being the 44th most peaceful country in 2020 to 71st in the world. Meanwhile, the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has appealed to President-elect Hakainde Hichilema to prioritise the misfortunes that surrounded the country’s decline in the levels of peacefulness.
According to the ranking as contained in the 15th edition of the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI), Zambia has moved from 44th to the 71st position this year. SACCORD executive director, Boniface Cheembe, said they were disappointed with the drop in the levels of peacefulness for Zambia.
Mr Cheembe said in a statement that the decline meant that Zambia was 27 places worse off in 2021 compared to 2020 in terms of levels of peacefulness. He said Zambia has also dropped behind in Sub-Saharan Africa from having been ranked the fourth most peaceful country in 2020 to the 13th most peaceful country in 2021 representing a drop of nine places within one year.
Mr Cheembe said the decline in Zambia’s levels of peacefulness at both global and continental levels was an indicator of fundamentals not functioning correctly where peace was concerned. He said that the decline in the levels of peacefulness was a further indicator on the need for the country to deliberately invest more in peacebuilding. He said this had been the case due to complacency on account of the reputation that the country has built over the years of being an “oasis of peace” and a dangerous notion that Zambians are “naturally peaceful.”
Mr Cheembe said peace requires hard work through implementation of deliberate peaceful measures and mechanisms that nurture and sustain the peace. Mr Cheembe urged Zambians never to take peace foe granted as doing so could lead to deterioration in the levels of peacefulness. “We appeal to President-elect Hakainde Hichilema to prioritise the misfortunes that surround Zambia’s decline in the levels of peacefulness,” he said. He advised the incoming President and government to focus on investing more in peacebuilding as that had been neglected for a long time.