15 November 2018

Iraqi protesters rally for jobs in Basra

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Angry protesters blocked a main highway in Iraq’s southern Basra province on Sunday as part of pressure on the government to create jobs and resolve civic problems, according to a local police officer. informs citing Turkish media.

“Dozens of protesters gathered at the main entrance of Nahr Bin Omar oilfield,” Police Lieutenant Jamil al-Khafaji told Anadolu Agency.

No clashes were reported between demonstrators and security forces.

For his part, Tareq al-Ali, one of the protesters, said demonstrators came to submit their demands to the administration of the oilfield as they seek employment.

Meanwhile, scores of demonstrators blocked the main road in Garmat Ali in northern Basra, with police attempting to disperse them and reopen the road, a police source told Anadolu Agency.

Roughly 80 percent of Iraq’s overall crude oil exports originate from oilfields in Basra province.

For years, Basra residents have complained that foreign nationals, rather than locals, were being employed by the domestic energy sector.

They also complain of frequent power outages amid summer temperatures that often reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius.

Since July 9, the province, as well as other southern and central Shia-majority provinces, have witnessed ongoing popular protests which have spread to capital Baghdad.

Demonstrators demand improved public services like water and electricity, more job opportunities and an end to perceived government corruption.

2018.09.02 / 22:55
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