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THE Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has expressed disappointment with the drop in the levels of peacefulness that Zambia has experienced in the ranking as contained in the 15th edition of the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI).
The GPI, which is the world’s leading measure of peacefulness for the universe, ranks 163 independent countries and territories around the world as per their levels of peacefulness and is conducted by the Institute of Economics and Peace.
This drop has seen Zambia move from being the 44th most peaceful country in 2020 to the 71st most peaceful country in the world meaning the country is 27 places worse off in 2021 compared to 2020 in terms of levels of peacefulness.
SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe said the decline in Zambia’s levels of peacefulness at both the global and continental levels was an indicator of fundamentals not functioning correctly where peace was concerned.
“These include continued acts of political violence that have contributed to the damage to private and public property, injury to citizens, and in unfortunate instances loss of life hence reducing the levels of safety and security for citizens, among others,” Mr Cheembe said.
He said the decline in the levels of peacefulness was a further indicator on the need for the country to deliberately invest more in peacebuilding an area that had seen neglect for a long time both domestically and internationally.
This he said had been the case due to complacency on account of the reputation that the country had built over the years of being an ‘oasis of peace’ and a dangerous notion that Zambians were ‘naturally peaceful.
Mr Cheembe said peace did not come by accident as it required hard work through implementation of deliberate peaceful measures and mechanisms that nurture and sustain the peace which should never be taken for granted as doing so could lead to the deterioration and decline in the levels of peacefulness that a country enjoyed.
He appealed to President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema to prioritize the misfortunes that surrounded Zambia’s decline in the levels of peacefulness.
Mr Cheembe further appealed to the incoming President and the Government to focus on investing much more in peacebuilding as this had been neglected for a long time hence contributing to the decline in the levels of peacefulness.

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