Somalilandsun – As usual since years, Somalia and Sudan are on the top two positions of the Peoples under Threat 2014 index, which has been released today. Syria is jumping this year to the third position in the list.The index is published on an annual basis by the Minority Rights Group (MRG) which lists countries where communities suffer human “risk of genocide, mass killing or systematic violent repression”.
In Somalia, MRG argues that the Bantu populations and some clans are the most threatened groups; in Sudan, the report points to groups in Darfur (Fur, Zaghawa and Massalit) and other peoples living in historically marginalized areas (the Beja of eastern Sudan and the Nubians).
Another rising country in the MRG’s list is the Democratic Republic of Congo (4th position), while Afghanistan is placed 5th. Also are rising, if compared to last year’s list, Yemen (10th) , South Sudan (12th) and the Central African Republic (14th). Major risers are Egypt (33 positions up), Guinea Bissau (18) and Mali (8). In Egypt, Copts and Sinai’s Arab Bedouins are quoted as communities at risk.
Ukraine has been included in MRG’s list for the first time. The organization says “particular concern” over the situation of the Crimean Tatars, but also over “the presence of ethnic nationalists” among the protesters who contributed to the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
On its website, MRG highlights that those states having had sharp rises in recent years, such as South Sudan, Central Africa and Syria, are the ones that “have subsequently faced episodes of extreme ethnic or sectarian violence”. The analysis of the new data, the organization says, shows that the risk remains very high in those states, while it is also rising in other countries.
For the first time, the Peoples under Threat list is this year also being launched as an online map, allowing access to specific information of more than 60 states included in the report.