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Corruption, Stagnant Politics and Economic Mismanagement Fuel Iraqi Unrest

Stagnant politics, graft and slow recovery fuel new Iraqi unrest

Humanosity says – We should all be worried about what’s happening in Iraq. President Trump thinks ISIS is defeated but they are slowly reorganising in Iraq and Syria and will be ready to seize on any unrest to restart their bloody campaign. Yet a combination of factors is fuelling Iraqi unrest

Thousands of protesters have been taking to the streets chanting against graft and demanding jobs and services. The security forces, often egged on by Iran have opened fire. Hundreds have died and thousands have been injured.

Demonstrators say the ruling establishment has fueled endemic corruption and kept millions of people living in poverty despite the OPEC member’s vast oil wealth.

“Baghdad’s renewed protests and the violent reaction by security forces is a sign that people are rejecting the political establishment for failing to improve lives despite a huge national budget,” said economic lecturer Ahmed al-Mumin.

In its 2019 budget, some 19% of more than $106 billion is spent on security. The oil ministry gets 14% whilst the education and health sectors get around 8% between them.

Two years after ISIS was defeated reconstruction has barely started. There are severe shortages of power and water supply and other basic services. Most importantly there’s a huge shortage of job opportunities, compounded by endemic corruption.

“Jobs are available only to those with links to militias and powerful religious political parties,” said Salam Jaafar, 30, a graduate from a technical institution and father of three.

Unemployment stood at 13% with youth unemployment at 25.6% in 2017, according to International Labour Organization data. A survey by the National Democratic Institute in July said a large majority of Iraqis see corruption as worsening in recent years…

Click here to read the full article at www.reuters.com

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