The third annual list prepared by the peace group and the journal Foreign Policy uses 12 indicators of instability to rank 177 countries. They include demographic pressures, human rights violations and economic problems.
"Few encouraging signs emerged in 2006 to suggest the world is on a path to greater peace and stability," the group said, citing religious violence over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, continued violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and North Korea's nuclear experimentation.
Eight of the 10 most unstable countries are in Africa. In addition to the top two, they include Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Guinea and the Central African Republic.
The next 10 are Haiti, Pakistan, North Korea, Myanmar (listed as Burma), Uganda, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burundi and Timor-Leste.