Iraqi Kurdistan: violent protests against budget crisis continue

The autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan is shaken by particularly violent demonstrations.

At least seven people have died in recent days, and dozens more have been injured.


Text by: Lucile Wassermann Follow

3 min

For a week, the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has been shaken by particularly violent demonstrations.

At least seven people have died in recent days, and dozens more have been injured.

These protesters accuse the authorities of being responsible for the serious fiscal crisis in the region.


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With our correspondent in Baghdad


These scenes of violence are rather rare in Iraqi Kurdistan.

There are obviously demonstrations from time to time in northern Iraq, but they rarely take on the same scale, because for the past week, we have indeed observed in the province of Sulaymaniyah, clashes between the demonstrators and the forces of order.

Headquarters of political parties were set on fire, and security forces fired live ammunition, witnesses said.

There have already been a lot of injuries, but also deaths.

Faced with this violence, several human rights organizations have expressed their concern.

The Iraqi president, himself Kurdish, also reacted, affirming that " 

violence was not the solution to meet the legitimate demands of the citizens


Internationally, France has also spoken on the subject, saying it is concerned about the current situation.

End corruption

These protests are somewhat reminiscent of those that erupted in October 2019 in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

When we talk to protesters in the north of the country, we find many of the speeches we heard last year, but this time aimed at the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, and not those central to Baghdad.

These demonstrators are in the streets because the region is currently going through a budgetary crisis and they believe that the authorities have not been able to manage this crisis.

It should still be noted that the regional government has hardly paid the salaries of its civil servants for months now, at best a tiny part of their amount.

The demonstrators are therefore expressing their weariness today.

They are asking for major reforms, and above all for the end of corruption.

No reaction from the authorities has so far been able to calm this anger.

The authorities, moreover, accuse the movement of being infiltrated by outside elements, with the aim of destabilizing the ruling party.

To read: In Iraqi Kurdistan, protesters defy the ban on gatherings


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  • Iraq

  • Kurds

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