Sarajevo,Bosnia. As other parts of the world roll on with their problems, an old hot spot is working its way back to being a conflict yet again.

Things may be quiet in western europe, but in the east it is anything but quiet. Bosnia & Herzegovina saw the risk of internal conflict grow in 2016, while relations with its neighbours also worsened, according to the latest edition of the Global Peace Index , which ranks 163 countries as to stability.

Bosnia is one of the countries in Southeast Europe where the level of peacefulness fell the most last year, according to the latest edition of peace research initiative Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index (GPI) of 163 countries. Rising nationalistic rhetoric among politicians has provoked political crises in the country, seriously raising tensions.

An increase in nationalist rhetoric led to a deterioration in relations with neighbouring countries for Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia, while Montenegro 67th saw a strong increase in political instability following a tumultuous election in October 2016 that involved an alleged attempted coup.

Bosnia plummeted 21 places on the index to 84th place. The country also was among the worst performers in Europe, ranking 34th out of 36 countries.

Bosnian tensions in the country have been rising constantly amid efforts by political leaders to gain more support from each of the three constituent peoples – the Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims, the Croats and the Serbs. This is only expected to increase in the coming year as the 2018 elections approach, with each group struggling for dominance.

Bosnia and Herzegovina also had a large deterioration in relations due to the ongoing conflict, owing to a deterioration in both the level of internal conflict, and its relations with neighbouring countries.

The decline in stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina was echoed in the region more generally, with both Serbia and Croatia also experiencing similar declines in stability the study noted.

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