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Third annual Conflict Intensity Index

The popular uprisings of the Arab Spring have propelled Egypt, Libya and Syria into the most severe risk category of an annual study evaluating the intensity of armed conflict across 197 nations, while economic giant India is also rated at ‘extreme risk.’

The third annual Conflict Intensity Index, released by risk analysis and mapping company Maplecroft, rates 12 countries at ‘extreme risk.’ These include Libya and Syria, which are ranked joint first alongside Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Iraq, Pakistan and South Sudan. At equal 8th are Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, while Egypt and India round off the category.

The index has been developed by Maplecroft as a tool for multinational corporations to assess ongoing trends for conflict and potential risks to operations or investments. It looks at the broad range of conflicts – not only those that take place between two states, but also those within countries between state security forces and rebel militias, or between different ethnic and religious communities. The index is primarily calculated using the number of fatalities caused by conflict in each country between October 2010 and August 2011. However, it also considers critical precursors to conflict, such as threats of violence and economic sanctions.

Conflict intensity data collected and analysed by Maplecroft over the past three years shows that particular regions – MENA, central Africa and the Indian subcontinent – have consistently remained most at risk. Each has a marked concentration of ‘high’ and ‘extreme risk’ states, indicating that these regions pose significant risks for investors, as well as opportunities, if those risks are managed responsibly.

BRICs at ‘high’ and ‘extreme risk’
Key territories for the business community to monitor are the BRICs economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China). India is ranked 11 and ‘extreme risk’ for conflict intensity, while Russia (13) and China (29) are both rated ‘high risk.’ Protracted insurgencies and terrorist threats within these countries continue to present challenges to the business environment. Conflict, however, poses less of a risk in Brazil (60), which is rated ‘medium risk.’

India, the highest ranked of the BRICs countries, faces significant risks from Islamist terrorism. A particular source of concern is Lashkar-e-Taiba, a pan-Islamist terrorist group that desires the creation of a ‘caliphate’ across the Indian subcontinent and the withdrawal of India from Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba continues to launch attacks in Kashmir and India and is one of several groups suspected of the 13 July 2011 Mumbai bombings that killed at least 26. India is also enduring a 45-year-long Maoist insurgency from ‘Naxalite’ militants in the east of the country whose aim is to overthrow the current political system.

For more information contact info@maplecroft.com

•Date: 19th October 2011 • Region: World •Type: Article • Topic: Operational risk

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