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Sunday, March 14, 2010

World's Most Dangerous Countries

15. Georgia/North Caucasus, Russia
The country Georgia and bordering Russian provinces in the North Caucasus region continue to be unstable in the wake of Moscow's advances last summer. Islamic militants and criminal gangs are now fighting for a land wracked by poverty and governmental heavy-handedness. To make matters worse, Russian authorities are preparing for the release of thousands of inmates who are completing lengthy sentences for violent crimes committed during the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

14. Nigeria
Nigeria is home to 140 million people, making the former British colony Africa's most populous nation. Though considered an emerging market brimming with potential, Nigeria is still marred by violence, especially in the Niger Delta. Militant groups and opportunistic criminal gangs in the oil-rich region target anyone for kidnapping, including affluent Nigerians and foreign nationals. Rebels have continued their attacks on oil projects in an effort to wrest control of the resources from the government.

13. Algeria
Like many countries in North Africa, Algeria's security continues to be threatened by fundamentalist groups linked to al-Qaeda. Though a major terrorist attack has not occurred in the country since the Aug. 20 double car bombing in Bouira, al-Qaeda's North African organization has a history of carrying out high-profile attacks in the country, particularly against the Algerian government and security forces. Oil-related infrastructure, airports and hotels remain vulnerable targets.

12. Haiti
The former French colony is among the least developed and least stable countries in the Western Hemisphere. Problems include chronic shortages of basic goods and services in all parts of the country outside the capital, Port-au-Prince. Most consumer products are imported and expensive. Tourism facilities are sometimes acceptable in large cities and resort areas, but the majority are rudimentary at best. The U.S. State Department warns that kidnapping, armed robbery and carjackings are all common occurrences.

11. Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire has experienced periodic bouts of political unrest and violence since 2002, when a failed coup attempt snowballed into an armed rebellion. In March 2007, President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Guillaume Soro signed a compromise agreement and a new government was formed with Soro as prime minister. But the U.S State Department warns that the political situation still isn't completely stable: December 2007 saw heavy rioting by rebel soldiers and paramilitary forces amid rumors of another coup.

10. Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has been running the country since 1980. In recent years his administration has come under fire for rampant corruption and suppression of civil liberties. Mugabe's disastrous policies have contributed to hyperinflation and food shortages. Although opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister in a power-sharing agreement last month, control of the country's security forces remains in Mugabe's hands--or, as some suspect, perhaps Mugabe remains firmly in the hands of military leaders.

9. Sudan
Though the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region has finally become something of a cause celebre, the country is far from safe. Violence in Darfur is largely a product of an ongoing war between the Sudanese Armed Forces and regional rebels. To further complicate matters, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on March 4 for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. IJet warns that an anti-Western backlash may erupt at any point.

8. Yemen
An ancient country and former British colony, Yemen today faces threats from local al-Qaeda-linked groups and continued instability across the Gulf of Aden in Somalia. Islamic militants have managed to carry out several significant attacks in the country in 2008, most notably on Sept. 17, when the Yemeni Islamic Jihad group attacked the U.S. Embassy and killed 16 people. Expect further troubles as the country's oil reserves, which make up 90% of the country's exports, start to dry up.

7. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's development has been stalled by a civil war that has flared up sporadically since 1983. The separatist Tamil Tigers continue to agitate for an independent state in the island nation's north. With the rebels' northern headquarters overrun by government troops and their leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in hiding, some think the conflict is finally coming to an end. But iJet warns that the Tigers have resorted to guerrilla tactics and suicide attacks in the past and may do so again.( Sri lanka is not a Dangerous place to visit any more as the civil war over by the time i am editing this article )

6. Gaza, Palestinian Territories
The tiny coastal strip between Egypt and Israel has seen more than its share of conflict, most recently in the form of an Israeli offensive in retaliation for Hamas' rocket attacks. Gaza City, home to half a million people, has been under Hamas control since the militant group won a surprise victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections. Israeli air strikes typically follow Hamas rocket attacks, and this tit-for-tat cycle seems to have no end in sight.

5. Pakistan
Even before the dramatic assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, Pakistan was teetering on the brink of chaos. The Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad in September 2008, carried out by militant group Fidayeen-e-Islam, underscored the former British colony's precarious position. Experts at iJet expect tensions to continue for the foreseeable future while fighting rages between government forces and tribal militants in northwestern Pakistan.

4. Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been mired in conflict since 1998, the start of "Africa's World War." Though hostilities officially ended in 2003, sporadic attacks continue and 5.4 million people have died in the conflict. Despite recent improvements in the DRC's overall security situation, militia-related violence continues to plague the country. Disputes between the government and opposition forces often leads to unrest in cities such as Kinshasa, Matadi and Mbandaka.

3. Iraq
Violence throughout Iraq has declined since the U.S.-led troop surge of 2007, but the country still faces major security issues. While joint U.S.-Iraqi operations have weakened al-Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group maintains the ability to carry out significant attacks, even in Baghdad. Ethnic and sectarian tensions remain: Sunni-Shia' hostilities are still high, and friction between rival Shia' groups in the south could also result in clashes.

2. Afghanistan
The Taliban insurgency has gained considerable strength over the past year. Even as new American troops arrive, the violence shows no signs of slowing. Kabul has seen a rise in attacks; the rest of the country is essentially beyond the reach of law enforcement. In the volatile Ghazni province, U.S. forces have passed the baton to Polish troops, where experts at iJet warn that Taliban militants will test cash-strapped Poland's will to fight.

1. Somalia
Somalia is the consensus pick for the world's most dangerous destination. A textbook example of a failed state, the former Italian and British colony is dominated by squabbling warlords and local militias. Somalia has gained additional notoriety as a modern-day Tortuga thanks to the hordes of fishermen-turned-pirates living along its coast. Conditions inland remain chaotic, where the recent departure of Ethiopian troops has left just 3,500 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi to monitor a country nearly the size of Texas.
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