The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that whilst some countries in the region have become more peaceful, notably Egypt and Tunisia, this was outweighed by deteriorating conditions in Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
Several countries in MENA have been affected by sectarian strife and civil conflicts. Syria, remains locked in civil war, with a stalemate between government forces loyal to the president, Bashar al-Assad, and numerous rebel groups fighting against it.
ISIL, the Sunni jihadist group, made significant territorial gains across western and northern Iraq in 2014, increasing intensity of internal conflict and political terror within the country.
Libya saw the most severe deterioration in peace this year - falling down to 149th out of 162 countries, after the country sunk into a low-level civil war between Islamist and nationalist groups. Islamist militias refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the liberal-dominated parliament, elected in June. Libya Dawn, an umbrella group of Islamist militias, seized control of Tripoli in August and forced the government and parliament to relocate to eastern Libya, reducing political stability in the country and increasing internal conflict.
In Yemen, the post-Arab-Spring transition has destabilised the country. In early 2015 the advance of Houthi rebels forced the resignation of the government and prompted the interim president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, to flee the country.
Tunisia saw significant improvement to peace, following successful parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014. Egypt also improved, with the election of new president, military-backed Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, bringing greater political stability and a decrease in the intensity of internal conflict.
The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.