Doesn't he have investigations already into previous attacks on protesters?
And no one's been punished for those attacks -- attacks carried out by security forces under the command of the prime minister. To be fair, these previous attacks? We're talking about attacks carried out before Mustafa al-Kadhimi became prime minister (May 7th).
But he made promises. As AL KHALEEJ TODAY reminds, "Prior to joining office Mr Al Kadhimi vowed to meet protester demands by holding early elections and investigating protester deaths. Yet the new prime minister has had to deal with a catastrophic economic crisis triggered by a decline in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic."
Are any of these promises going to be kept?
Oh, he's dealing with an economic crisis? Wow. Poor baby. All the leaders of countries are dealing with economic crisis in one form or another -- with or without oil being factored in.
Yes, AP, Mustafa did Tweet:
What does that have to do with his failure to keep promises?
Discontent in Iraq is not new, and neither is the suffering of Iraqis from unemployment, lack of security, corruption and a crippled health system trying to fight Covid-19. However, tensions are escalating. Rocket attacks on military bases or in the vicinity of the International Zone of Baghdad, commonly known as the Green Zone, are near-daily occurrences, and security incidents such as kidnappings and assassinations are on the rise.
Armed groups within the country, some with political parties backing them and others with Iranian backing, know that Mr Al Kadhimi has them within his sights and are lashing back. With temperatures exceeding 50 degrees, frequent electricity cuts and a general public malaise setting in, Mr Al Kadhimi is heading towards a crisis.
The Prime Minister’s first foreign trip abroad since he came to office was slated earlier this month to be to Saudi Arabia. It was meant to bring news of economic opportunities and entering a new era in relations in the region. However, the trip was cancelled as King Salman bin Abdul Aziz was taken to hospital. Consequently, Mr Al Kadhimi’s first foreign trip was to Iran. It became a staging ground for Iranian leaders to push their own anti-US agenda, at which point Mr Al Kadhimi had to push back defensively on the need for ‘non-interference’ in relations.
All this comes as the Iraqi government is facing an economic crisis that can only be resolved by external investment. Foreign direct investment or private sector investment at a time when the global economy is facing a recession and global pandemic will not be easy and will require hard work.
“We had no guns, no knives, just our chants,” said Ahmad Jabbar, a male protester in the square.
“We (clashed) with them for six hours. They wouldn’t even let the ambulances come get the wounded,” he said. More rallies have been called for Monday night, with activists demanding the release of fellow protesters arrested the previous evening.
“If our guys aren’t freed, we’re going to ramp up our efforts. We’re staying in our tents, and we’re not afraid,” said protester Maytham al-Darraji.
“What we witnessed yesterday in Tahrir Square by Kadhimi’s government was similar to what we used to face during the government of Adil Abdul-Mahdi,” he said from Tahrir Square, referring to Kadhimi's predecessor who resigned as PM late last year.
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