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July 15 2018 Iraq: Protests rage over poor public services, unemployment | Al Jazeera English

The Iraqi government has held an emergency meeting after anti-government demonstrations spread to the capital, Baghdad.

Protests began in the southern city of Basra over high unemployment and a lack of basic services.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Basra on Friday to meet the city's governor and attempt to ease tensions.

Baghdad decrees Facebook shutdown amid Iraq protests: KRG official By Rudaw
Iraqis in Baghdad protest against poor services and high unemployment on Friday
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Social media site Facebook and other internet services are down in many cities across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as of Saturday afternoon. 14th july 2018

The platform was shut down following a decree from Baghdad, according to Umed Mohammed, spokesperson for the KRG’s Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“Beyond Facebook, there is also pressure from the Iraqi government to block other internet services,” Mohammed told Rudaw.

He assured Facebook users in the Kurdistan Region the move is only “temporary” and that authorities are working to restore services “as soon as possible”.

Demonstrations and occupations against corruption and shortages of electricity and water are spreading across Iraq – so far reaching six provinces: Basra, Maysan, Karbala, Najaf, Babel, Dhi Qar.

Videos and photographs of protesters have been shared widely on social media platforms. source

Protests spread from oil-rich Basra across southern Iraq
Curfews have been imposed, troops put on the streets and the internet reportedly shut down. Burgeoning protests in Iraq against corruption and poor services represent a major challenge and risk boiling over.


Protests in Basra, Iraq (picture-alliance/AP Photo)
Mass demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and poor services spread further across southern Iraq on Saturday, forcing the government to impose a curfew in the oil-rich province of Basra and put security forces on high alert.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also commander-in-chief, ordered troops and reinforcements to Basra and several southern cities in a bid to quell the unrest as it entered its sixth day. There were also widespread reports of the internet being shut down or throttled across parts of the country.

On Friday, Abadi rushed from a NATO summit in Brussels to Basra to meet with local officials and tribal leaders in a bid to restore calm. He was met with a growing wave of protests despite summer temperatures that reach 49 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit).

On Saturday, he announced investments worth $3 billion (€2.6 billion) for Basra province and promised to provide jobs, housing, schools and services.

Anger boiling over

Demonstrations that began last Sunday in Basra province have since spread to the cities of Amara, Nasiriya, Karbala and the Shiite holy city of Najaf. There were also protests in parts of the capital, Baghdad.

Protesters have stormed government buildings and clashed with security forces.

In Najaf on Friday, protesters shut down and torched part of the airport. Also on Friday, protesters blocked access to the key oil export port of Umm Qasr in Basra as well as several oil facilities outside the city.

A demonstration against unemployment in Baghdad (Getty Images/AFP/A. Al-Rubaye)
Protesters in Baghdad demonstrate against unemployment, corruption and poor services

The protests have led to attacks on party offices, including those of Abadi's ruling Dawa party and the Iranian-supported Badr Organization.

Dozens of protesters have been injured, and two protesters were killed Saturday in Maysan province, bringing the total death toll to three in the past week. It was unclear how the protesters on Saturday died.

Protesters have a host of grievances against the government, including high unemployment, water and electricity shortages and poor governance in Iraq's oil-rich region.

Protesters block the road to Iraq's main Umm Qasr port, south of Basra. (Reuters/E. al-Sudani)
Protesters block the road to Iraq's main Umm Qasr port, south of Basra

Top Shiite cleric backs protests

On Friday, protesters got a boost from Iraqi's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who offered solidarity with the people during a sermon.

"The dear governorate of Basra is the number one in providing the country with financial revenue. And it is the number one in the number of martyrs and those who have been wounded in the fight against the Islamic State group terrorists," said Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, speaking on behalf of the reclusive and apolitical grand ayatollah, whose words move millions of followers. "So it is not fair, indeed it is not acceptable, that this governorate is one of Iraq's poorest."

Basra and southern Iraq are predominantely populated by Shiite Arabs.

Ali al-Sistani (AFP Photo/Getty Images)
As the spiritual leader of Shiites in Iraq, Sistani wields tremendous power and his word is followed by millions.

Government in limbo

The protests come as Abadi is in charge of a caretaker government following May elections that witnessed low turnout as many Iraqis shunned the corrupt ruling class.

A coalition of Communists and a bloc led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won the most votes on an anti-corruption platform. Sadr has so far backed the protesters, although he has urged them to refrain from violence.

Read more: Who is Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq's influential Shiite cleric?

Sadr has sought to form a broad coalition with other parties including Abadi's Dawa.

However, the already complicated Iraqi government formation process has been drawn out by a manual recount of some of the votes amid allegations of fraud.

Abadi's caretaker status and ongoing government formation talks mean that his pledges to invest in Basra may not be implemented, and even if they were, there is little guarantee money would not be siphoned off through corruption.

cw/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc wins most seats in Iraq election
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April 21 2018 Thanks to Holly in the IQDCalls Chat room.    Audio

Iraq looks forward to benefiting from the world's financial experiences Baghdad / Al-Sabah active mobility witnessed by the financial sector locally, regionally and internationally for the development of work joints and the development of banking products required by the economy awaits a major work stage represents the banking sector cornerstone of this activity. The banking sector continues to experience regional experiences that have been very successful in the field of finance. The visit of the delegation of Islamic banks in Iraq was a positive one within the Kingdom of Bahrain and its financial and Arab institutions based in Manama during an intensive program organized by the Association of Iraqi Banks. Development plans The Executive Director of the Association of Iraqi Private Banks Ali Tariq said: "The plans for the development of the Iraqi financial sector require cooperation with regional and international counterpart institutions and stand at their successful experiences and benefit from them and the transfer of the banking sector to a new stage where openness to the world will increase knowledge and work to adopt systems that make Iraq is a competitor to the countries of the region and the world in banking services, especially that the training plans adopted by the Association and the competent institutions have created competencies capable of mastering advanced technology ». World banks offer more than 120 products to beneficiaries at different levels, companies and individuals, and perform the work in a field and through personal electronic devices. Prospects for cooperation and added Tariq that « the delegation of the banks of the Iraqi Islamic , who ended his visit to Bahrain recently, came out with positive results of several most important opening new horizons of cooperation, and this in itself will benefit through friction with banks have sophisticated systems, especially that the other side understands the importance of Iraq on the Square economy International ». Iraqi banks provide about 15 banking products to their public, and thus need to develop their systems in line with developments in the international financial sector. "The visit has witnessed the introduction of eight Iraqi Islamic banks requesting membership of the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions in a move to open up to the financial and banking institutions and the world, and to establish their presence in the Council with the aim of starting with advanced levels of cooperation and support the Iraqi banking sector. "The Bahraini side has expressed its full readiness to open banking transactions with Iraqi banks within international standards and controls," he said, adding that "continuous communication with the Bahraini side is very effective in order to achieve the developmental goals of both sides which benefit the financial sector in both countries." A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Association of Private Banks of Iraq and the Association of Banks of Bahrain with the aim of activating cooperation and providing facilities for Iraqi banks and the second with the General Council of Banks and Islamic Financial Institutions. The Association also prepared a long-term memorandum of understanding with the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Financial Training next period. Developmental mutations in turn between the Director of Training and Management Association in Ahmed al - Hashemi said «regional and international mobility is a necessity, especially that Iraq was cut off from the world for a long period of banking services through which large developmental mutations». Hashemi added that the visit revealed to the delegation the extent of aspiration of Bahraini banks that have advanced mechanisms to work to the next period, and the possibility of benefiting from the Bahraini experience in the field of training and management}. Hashemi pointed out that «the visit strengthened confidence between the two sides, where can be achieved prospects for cooperation between the two sides in the desire to do so between the two sides, and look forward to the parties to strengthen cooperation to the benefit of both.


World Bank: Proactive work in crisis areas Dr.. Majida Salman Mohammed It is certain that Iraq has been subjected to the worst barbaric attack in history by gangs, "Da'ash" terrorist, which occupied a number of cities and provinces of Iraq, and caused demographic changes and tampering with the capabilities, infrastructure and human of those cities. The extent of the devastation and its dimensions outweigh the scale of natural disasters because it targeted human beings and the meaning of humanity. In this atmosphere of rapid developments, ways must be found to re-evaluate the risks to human security and freedom and the need to confront them through social policies and effective development programs, taking into consideration that the chances of any The potential outcomes in implementing these policies will depend on their comprehensiveness, their relevance to the reality, their reaching the target groups, and their integration with other societal variables through the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the infrastructure in an effort to restore life to what it was, Iss of the terrorist organization Daesh. After the strategic was the presence of the World Bank as the first and the first international economic institution implemented with the Iraqi government a loan for reconstruction and rehabilitation of projects with a strategic dimension in the cities of Iraq, which were affected by terrorist operations through the program of emergency development (ODP), which was prepared within five weeks and the fastest loan done by The World Bank to support the emergency situation in Iraq, was signed in mid-2015 and the value of 350 million US dollars, including the first seven liberated areas and witnessed security stability and a remarkable return of displaced people, in the provinces of Salah al-Din (Durr, science, Tikrit, Dhuluiya) and Diyala (Great), Jalawla , Saadia) and within four Sectors (electricity, water, health, roads and bridges, municipalities) are implemented by the relevantsectoral ministries . Re meat may contract included adapters, power plants and poles and wires for power lines processing, in addition to the reconstruction of roads and bridges within the national network , such as Alharonih bridge and bridge two fires in the Diyala Bridge Dhuluiya and bridge Cheshin in Salah al - Din and through the oil box -khanqan and by Imam Lewis in Diyala and complete the work in Al-Muthanna bridge north of Baghdad, which means strengthening the communication between the residents of these provinces internally and externally with the other governorates of Iraq, where this is a key building and important in the re-cohesion in the fabric of Iraqi society, as well as the processing of various mechanisms in the water sector, B) Special mechanisms for the sewerage sector, municipalities, waste containers and various waste bins, which are suitable for the structure of the areas being processed. Under the umbrella of the same emergency development project, 20 projects have been nominated for the treatment and rehabilitation of water stations and liquidation projects in three governorates (Diyala, , Al-Anbar). Each of these projects includes a group within the targeted areas and areas, some of which have achieved good achievements and some are still in the process of being analyzed. Among the plans (25) bridges in the provinces, the plan entered into with the liberation of those areas completed (11) bridges in Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Mosul. Commercial centers and with the continuation of the liberalization of 2016 to include Anbar province in Ramadi, one of the largest districts in the province in terms of area (7639) km 2. And the population density (500) thousand people and includes three areas composed of population communities of 20 cities, where the bank directed towards the reconstruction of three bridges important and vital linking the center of Ramadi, where health and educational services and commercial centers of the communities of the judiciary, bridge Omar bin Abdul Aziz, Which was completed in February and officially opened by the beneficiaries and facilitated the movement of more than half a million citizens in Anbar province . The World Bank returned in mid-2017 and immediately announced the liberation of Mosul to provide supplementary contractual plans for projects worth another $ 400 million and to enter other sectors within its ministry (Education, Transport, Water Resources, Agriculture) in an effort to accelerate the reconstruction of Mosul and the regions And the development of other sectors. The importance of dealing with the loan of the World Bank does not lie in the amount of the loan as much as the importance of the mechanism of implementation that is transparent, accurate and real appreciation of the need. (3.5) million people The World Bank was not far from the city of Nineveh - Mosul when liberated at the beginning of July, the second province of Iraq in terms of population density (3.5) million people spread over the area (33000) km square, was a race to bring life to those The city is famous for its history, diverse in its population, and is characterized by the presence of Tigris River divided into two halves of the right coast where the centers of commercial and medical services, housing and the left side where centers of population and urban centers and government departments and the University of Mosul. He supported the reconstruction of three bridges temporarily to ensure the quick return of life, including the second Muthanna bridge on the Khosr River and the fourth bridge linking the two parts of the city of Mosul and facilitate the transfer of hundreds of people between the two sides to reach their jobs. As he managed during a record period to complete the reconstruction of the first and oldest bridge, which is the iron bridge and with utmost accuracy while preserving the original shape of the bridge, which is one of the important landmarks of the city and connects the right coast on the left, which contributes to the return of life to the right coast and stability and help the displacement of displaced and return To the outskirts of the old city, which eases the crisis of the camps and the economic and social pressure that weighs the state budget. The participation of the World Bank in the preparation of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq through the study of the assessment of damages and needs in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning - a role in shedding light on the magnitude of damage in the affected provinces and the study was presented to the international community at the conference and through it was To assess the extent of damage and to estimate the real financial costs of the reconstruction process in the provinces affected by terrorist operations. Consultant Communication Fund Reconstruction Jordan waives in favor of Iraq the membership of the Board of Directors of the Arab Labor Organization 22/4/2018 12:00 am Amman / Hazem Mubaidin approved by the Jordanian Council of Ministers on the memorandum of understanding intended to be signed between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Communications in the Republic of Iraq, the MoU aims to develop modern communications services in the modernization of information and communication networks and the increased use of the Internet and the management of software development and exchange of information technology. It aims at cooperation and exchange of experiences in the areas of planning, research and development in the telecommunications sector and in the fields of satellite, land and wireless communications and cooperation in the coordination of spectrum uses in border areas.

Adnan Abul Ragheb, chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Industry, resigned after his election as a member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Labor Organization (ALO) in favor of Ali Sabih Al Saadi, President of the Federation of Iraqi Industries. Abu Ragheb stressed that "his step in giving in favor of the Iraqi side, came to contribute to the return of Iraq to the forefront of Arab and international forums." Abo stressed that the Jordan-Iraq relations are true and historic, stressing the necessity of partnership and partnership with the Jordanian government to be a role model for common Arab relations, by upgrading economic and trade relations to levels that meet the aspirations of the two sides and benefit the two countries.

He pointed out that "the Jordan Chamber of Industry is working to build real partnerships with all representatives of employers in Arab countries and to achieve the joint benefits of the three parties of production of the Arab brothers, in readiness of the full chamber to provide all forms of support to the brothers in the Federation of Iraqi Industries, including the interest of the industrial sector in Both countries. " Abu Ragheb noted that "bilateral relations will undergo a qualitative leap during the current year, following the reopening of the border crossing with Iraq recently and the approval of the Iraqi side for the exemption of 540 Jordanian goods from the customs duties supplied to the Iraqi market, expressing the hope of speeding the Iraqi side in the application of the exemption The Jordanian goods, which enhances the volume of trade exchange between Jordan and Iraq and deepen economic cooperation between the two countries. "

Industrial cities . Yasser Al Metwally Industrial cities occupy a great deal of interest in the developed world because of its many advantages, including urban planning of cities and basic designs for building modern cities according to their specialties. Now, the Council of Ministers has issued its decision to approve the establishment of industrial cities this project deferred and forgotten well, to transfer now is the exact date and time to start construction in conjunction with the reconstruction phase of the new Iraq. However, this topic raises many questions concerning national industry in general in its public and private spheres. Often calls are called for the need to revive national industry and the need to enact protectionist legislation for the national product and the need to prevent the elimination of imports.

All of these calls are legitimate and important aimed at restoring life to the national product, which has a long history in the region and a real competitor. But if we follow the size of the rapid and rapid technological development that has occurred in the world and compare it to what the industrial machinery due to the time factor, the depletion and the requirements of the backup materials, how do you realize the economic feasibility of reviving it? May be commissioned to rehabilitate or maintain much higher than the value of bringing modern technology commensurate with the requirements of the times and its various industries.

Then is there an evaluation of the projects suspended and how much benefit? There are many questions, with some believing that reviving the industry has a great payoff in absorbing large unemployment, certainly, but reviving industry is something and reviving old factories is another thing. The most important is to clarify the real and economically feasible uses of the new industrial cities. This requires the rapid study of these aspects by the industrial sector managers from the private and public sector experts and recommending the correct use of these cities.

And then there is a very important issue related to the size of the real need for industrial cities and are there enough space and the appropriate environment? . The old industrial zones, which occupy a large area of ​​the capital and city centers, which require study of the possibility of transferring them to the industrial cities assumed to empty large spaces in the capital for the purpose of modern urban construction and make the capital's environment pure. There is a random spread of many trades that have distorted the correct design of modern cities if there is a serious answer to these questions, the industrial cities project to succeed in advance. With the importance of the availability of financial allocations to compensate some professions that may be affected by this program.


The National Program for Economic Reform will win the elections

Samir Al Nusairi * On May 12 voters will go to the polls to elect Iraq's leaders for the next four years. The Iraqi people will follow up and monitor the election programs of the blocs and parties that announced their participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The most important programs that the people will be interested in. I think it will be the basis for winning the elections because the sound economic approach will achieve stability, security, security, sovereignty and reconstruction and thus the welfare of society .

In light of the political, security and economic conditions that our country is currently experiencing, especially the suffering of the turbulent economic reality and the financial crisis, which have clearly affected the implementation of the plans of the government and the private sector to contribute to economic development as this crisis causes the current and future repercussions and the apparent failure to create new economic resources and weakness Economic planning and the continuation of the deficit from year to year in public budgets because of the lack of cash reserves in the time of abundance in oil prices because of the lack of a national fund to save and mismanagement of public funds .

In addition to the confusion of the economic vision deep in the background and the reality of the Iraqi economy rent and the migration of national capital abroad because of subjective and subjective conditions

Many questions raised by the economic reality during the period (2003) until the present time, which led to structural and structural imbalances in the economy made the experts and researchers and those concerned with the economic issue to be confused in determining the paths of the Iraqi economy and to any horizon is the most important and obvious confusion in all The economic sectors, although all these sectors of agriculture and industry, oil and finance, construction, reconstruction and services have been drawn up strategies and initiatives, but the reality of the case confirms that nothing has been implemented of these important strategies over those years .

Is it enough to say that our economic approach is moving in a sound direction towards the mechanisms of the market economy? Is there transparency and credibility in the data and information issued by the parties related to economic construction in the public and private sectors and to achieve what governments plan Sequentially. Is this approach is really consistent with the conditions in which the country is living? Do we need to lay the foundations, contexts and laws that serve to rebuild the economy according to a new insight. The mobilization of the potential of the State and the private sector in its various activities depends on drawing up a road map and strategy to build the preconditions for the transition to a social market economy, so that the private sector takes the main role in participating in economic management and economic decision-making .

What are the plans and programs and the lines of communication and cooperation between the government and the private sector in the implementation of a strategy that is timed and clear to all sides and is based on a specific central objective as well (how? We start and how to build our national economy and who builds and how to build its foundations and who in the end led by whether it is the public sector or the private sector and how to reach a vision shared by the administration) especially since the Council of Ministers approved a few days ago the sustainable development plan of the vine Over the next few years .

Therefore, we need a comprehensive national economic reform approach to the construction and management of the economy in line with everything Iraqi core in consciousness, culture, work and history and the bright future, which we see with optimistic eyes means that we work according to the principle (disagree in politics and unite the economy) so I call the blocks that will win the elections to The unification of its economic programs with a national program of economic reform is approved at the first session of the House of Representatives after the election of the next government for Iraq and its people.


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