Iraqi expert expects sweeping protests, says government untrusted

Protesters block the road to Iraq’s Umm Qasr port, south of Basra, Iraq July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

Baghdad ( An Iraqi military expert has said the sweeping demonstrations that have reached more provinces across the country could turn into an uprising.

In remarks to the Russian Sputnik news agency on Sunday, Qusai al-Mo’atassem said the protests have dangerously developed and reached 13 provinces including Salahuddin and Samarra, while security troops in Kirkuk.

“Absolutely, these demonstrations did not come through coincidence. It resulted as Iraqi citizen has been is despair after the consecutive governments failed to achieve reform, while billions get into the state budget, without him getting any of them. All the governmental promises made since 2005 vanished,” he said.

The protests, according to the expert, voice almost the same demands every day as well as the slogans made five years ago. Iraq is the only country in the world that has no strategic plan on the long or short run for reconstruction or services, which lead to the poor services as well as absence of alternatives and power outages for long periods of time in a country with such high temperatures.

The province, which provides Iraq with more than 95 percent of oil, which is Basra, is the one that suffers the most at the meantime. There is no drinking water, in addition to unemployment, diseases and others. “This has totally made the citizen convinced that the political process is useless. When they boycotted elections, as kind of a message to politicians, they were shocked with the electoral fraud and that the same people remained with presence of armed militias. This was an indicator that the government cannot do any reform process,” he said.

Mo’atassem expected the protests to become bigger over the coming days and weeks, saying governmental promises are not trusted anymore as all the provinces suffer the same problems.

Mass demonstrations against unemployment, widespread corruption and poor services have been sweeping through southern Iraq, particularly in the provinces of Maysan, Karbala, Najaf, Babil, Wassit, Diwaniya and Dhi Qar, for seven days in row,

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