Shafaq News/The escalation of protests calling to end the Iraqi government, which killed at least 80 people, coincides with the anniversary of the death of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi at his country's consulate in Istanbul.
The Iraqi capital Baghdad and the southern provinces of Iraq, are witnessing the largest demonstrations since the demonstrations in Basra in July last year, the events are very similar to what is happening these days.
The Saudi journalist, commenting on the demonstrations in Iraq, described the protests as "will help remove sectarian blur from all our eyes."
"Citizen wants a decent life"
“ What is happening in southern Iraq is a form of the Arab Spring, '' Khashoggi said in a tweet back to July 15, 2018”,The citizen is not saturated by the promises of a religious party or a military leader and may be distracted by sectarianism for a time and fearful for his security for a while.”
"The citizen wants a successful economy that provides him with a decent life. The Iraqi religious parties that ruled Iraq failed to provide them, so he rose up in anger."
As protests continued, Khashoggi tweeted on July 17, saying “Basra demonstrations will help remove sectarian blur from all our eyes - Arabs, Sunnis, Kurds, Shiites, Druze, Yazidis, Christians, right and left - all suffering from corrupt governments, marginalization, injustice, exclusion ... and power cuts.” "One Arab concern".
Will what happened in 2018 get repeated?
On July 8, 2018, protests began south of Iraq in Basra to demand the improvement of the reality of public services, especially water and electricity, provide jobs and combat unemployment among young people, till protests spread to all cities south of Iraq and reach the capital Baghdad.
On July 14, the Iraqi government cut off Internet access to all of Iraq's provinces except Kurdistan region, with a curfew imposed in Basra.
On July 17, demonstrations in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, opened fire on protesters, and witnessed burning the contents of the electricity investment company in Muthanna province.
Iraqi Prime Minister ,Haider al-Abadi said back then that his government stood by the protesters' demands and had formed a crisis cell to meet them.
In a meeting with elders and dignitaries of Dhi Qar province and the local government, he said his government has made many practical decisions to provide jobs and improve services.
"We have real-time short-term projects to improve electricity, water, health, education and municipalities, there are also medium-term projects that need to be contracted and there are long-term and strategic projects," he said.
Officially, the unemployment rate among Iraqis is 10.8 percent, and those under 24 make up 60 percent of Iraq's population, making unemployment twice as high as among young people, AFP reported.