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Iraqis protest is symptom of embedded corruption

  • Renad Mansour

    Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House

    زميل أبحاث أول، تشاتام هاوس

Hospital fires and electricity cuts have prompted angry protests, and many Iraqis see government corruption and mismanagement as the root of their suffering.

For many Iraqis, it has been a summer of tragedy. Fire tore through the COVID-19 isolation ward at a hospital in the southern city of Nasiriya, killing 60 people just months after a similar fire in a Baghdad hospital intensive care unit killed 82 COVID-19 patients.

The summer also saw temperatures rising above 120 degrees farenheit at a time when the government is failing to provide the electricity needed for people to cope. An election – Iraq’s sixth since the US-led invasion in 2003 – is imminent but, despite these failures sparking angry protests during the scorching-hot summer, many Iraqis do not see voting as a way to bring about change. Many even call for a boycott of the election.

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