Challenges in Iraq mount a year after anti-gov’t protests erupted
In October 2019, unprecedented protests demanded the fall of Iraq’s ruling class. One year on, with a new government in place and nearly 600 protesters killed, little to nothing has changed.
The nationwide, leader-less demonstrations which broke out on October 1, 2019, spiralled into a decentralised movement slamming unemployment, poor public services, endemic corruption and a political class more loyal to Iran or the US than to Iraqi citizens.
A month later, the protests forced the resignation of then-Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, who was succeeded by Mustafa al-Kadhimi, with the latter pledging to integrate protesters’ demands into his transitional government’s plans.
But on the ground, little has been achieved.
Al-Kadhimi has set an early parliamentary vote for June 6, 2021, nearly a year ahead of schedule.
“Protesters wanted early elections and a new electoral law. We’re doing that,” Abdelhussein Hindawi, al-Kadhimi’s adviser on elections, told AFP news agency.
But while Parliament approved a new voting law in December, essential points including the size of electoral districts and whether candidates would run independently or on lists have yet to be agreed by lawmakers.
Despite repeated claims he has no political ambitions and would only serve as a transitional premier, al-Kadhimi himself appears to be preparing for an electoral fight.
Several MPs and members of rival parties told AFP the prime minister’s advisers are scouting candidates for the 2021 elections, hoping he could secure a new term in office.
“He’s stuck because he has to make a decision about where he wants to be,” said Renad Mansour, a researcher at the UK-based Chatham House.
“Does he want to be PM for another four years and play politics, or does he want to change something right now?”
‘One foot in, one foot out’
When he came to power, al-Kadhimi pledged to guide Iraq through a dire fiscal crisis, saying state coffers were “nearly empty” after years of waste and an oil price slump.
The World Bank said Iraq’s poverty rate could double to 40 percent this year and that youth unemployment, already at 36 percent, could rise further.
Al-Kadhimi’s cabinet first vowed to reduce the public payroll and audit stipends handed out to millions of Iraqis but walked back the policy following public criticism.
It changed course again in August, hiring hundreds at the defence ministry – but not enough to stop sit-ins outside other government offices demanding jobs.
Finance Minister Ali Allawi missed a late August deadline to submit a “white paper” of economic reforms that is still being finalised, Iraqi officials told AFP.
Al-Kadhimi also said he would prioritise Iraq’s fight against the novel coronavirus, which has killed close to 9,000 people, with the health ministry warning hospitals could “lose control” if the spread is not contained.
The prime minister has few allies in Parliament, where pro-Iran MPs have bristled at his references to protester demands.
“He’s had one foot in the elite camp and one foot in the anti-establishment camp. At the end of the day, he ends up not satisfying either,” said Mansour.
‘It’s too sensitive’
The premier has also struggled to make good on his promise to bring those responsible for the deaths of nearly 600 protesters and activists since last October to justice.
In September, his government announced that families of victims could apply for compensation from the state, but no funds have been disbursed yet.
A few weeks later, al-Kadhimi said a statue would be erected in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Baghdad’s rallies, as well as in the protest hotspot of Nasiriya further south.
Protesters reacted to the announcement with derision, pointing out that public art statues had not been part of their demands.
Meanwhile, the intimidation campaign has continued, including the abduction of a German national and the killing of scholar and government adviser Hisham al-Hashemi in July.
“We know who and where the killers are, but we cannot arrest them or announce that. It’s too sensitive,” one Iraqi official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Anti-government political activists in Iraq’s southern city of Basra have also been shot dead and others wounded in separate attacks by unknown gunmen last month.
The country has witnessed a series of assassinations and forced disappearances of journalists and political activists since October 2019.
Al-Kadhimi pledged to investigate the recent killings, but no one has been held accountable to date.
Rocket attacks on diplomatic missions and military convoys have also increased, with hardline groups becoming more brazen in their threats against al-Kadhimi.
Many of those factions fall under the state-sponsored Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary network, and being unable to exert full control over them has made al-Kadhimi look “weak”, Mansour said.
“The challenge in Iraq is no one man can fix it – but certainly not a man who believes in incremental slow change at a time that you have such a violent context,” he said
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AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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The major problem towards deciphering the original plac…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underlying truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to f…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal (The Nag Hammadi, 219)
Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Geographica…
by Onyeji Nnaji Eha-Amufu
road newly constructed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state in 2019 Apart from the strategic location of the
Federal College of Education, one central reason remarkable about Eha-Amufu is
her central position and her boundary situation. Eha-Amufu stands at the centre
of many communities; as a result she has served as the gateway to different
communities. She is bounded to Nkalaha, Agala, Ikem, Umuero and other
communities, including Obeagu (pronounced Ubegu). Aside from that, Eha-Amufu embodies
the route that traces the way to the northern part of Nigeria for travellers
travelling from Ebonyi axis. Eha-Amufu also forms the remarkable boundary
community between Enugu State and Ebonyi State. This situation makes Eha-Amufu
very strategic in the discussion of the road and rivers across Ebonyi and
In the era when transportation on rail was
the order of the day, the most popular then ‘Express Train and later Diesel
Train’ and also the ‘local goods train’…