06 July 2020
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Suspicious of Iraqi Govt. Pledges, Basra Residents Plan Civil Disobedience after Eid Holiday

Monday, 20 August 2018 03:03

The popular demonstrations that erupted in early July in Iraq’s southern oil-rich Basra region are likely to escalate after next week’s Eid al-Adha holiday given that the government has not fulfilled any of the pledges it made to appease the protesters.

The people took to the street to demand job opportunities and corruption.

Federal and local authorities pledged to meet these demands, but nothing has materialized, increasing the people’s frustration. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had even visited Basra and ordered that employment opportunities be created and that services be improved.

Perhaps the greatest frustration felt by the people was prompted by the strict measures that the security forces adopted on Friday against protesters in the al-Hawir area that left two people dead. Dozens of others were wounded.

A source from Hawir told Asharq Al-Awsat that the protesters attacked the armed security forces after they used force to disperse the rallies.

Activists and youth revealed that they will escalate their actions after the Eid holiday and stage open-ended sit-ins.

Protester Ali al-Mahna said that the locals attacked police stations and shut down public institutions, including the provincial council, demanding that the security forces withdraw from the area and release detainees.

“We have lost our faith in everyone and all government pledges,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“We will continue our protest movement until our demands are met,” he vowed. “The developments in Hawir proved to us that the authorities do not shy away from committing any action against the people.”

He revealed that the activists and protesters will persuade public employees to stage civil disobedience. 

“Should they fail to comply, then we will block roads leading to state institutions,” he added.

“The pledges made by the government were proven to be false. Nothing has been implemented,” he continued.

“We are convinced that they are lying to us and we will continue to pressure them with all of our might, but away from violence,” Mahna said.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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