One protester killed and more than 100 others injured in angry protests in Kurdistan
Hundreds of people took to the streets in the district of Sayed Sadiq, Sulaimani province, accusing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for lack of public services and projects. At least one person was killed and more than 100 others injured during angry protests.
The protests came after the Iraqi government decided to make Halabja district a province. The decision was welcomed by all the Kurdistan residents because the city was attacked by chemical weapon during the Iraqi former regime of Saddam Hussein.
According to the new decision, Sayed Sadiq would be one of the district belong to Halabja province. But they rejected to accept it because they wanted to part of Sulaimani province.
One of the Sayed Sadiq’s residents who participated in the angry protests on January 2nd and wished to remain anonymous said that he personally welcomes the decision but there are lacks of public service projects in the city. He also very strongly criticized the lo- cal officials of the city and asked them to resign one after another due to they failed to accomplish their duties.
He also claimed that the officials are involved in corruption cases and the government has to bring them to justice and punish the corrupt ones.
As the protests continued for several days and many people got injured, the mayor of the city decided to resign from his post. He was a member of the Kurdistan Islamic Union party. Many say that it was an indication that the Islamic parties failed to in an area where they have many supporters.
“I am from Halabja. Sayed Sadiq residents hate Halabja people, otherwise; the major problem is not because of lack of services,” said the mayor.
Yousif Kareem, a school teacher from Sayed Sadiq, stated that there is a historic and cultural negotiation between the two cities and it has a deep root. He also added that there might be political tensions behind the angry protests and motivates the people to make trouble in the city. Mahmoud Abdulkareem, a writer, said that the government failed to implement the public services and serve its people. He further said that the residents of Sayed Sadiq fear that their city would be marginalized if it would be part of the new Kurdish province of Halabja.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party’s [KDP] affiliated channels broadcasted the angry protests in live programs, and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK], which is led by Jalal Talabani, criticized the channels and said they inflame the fire of the people’s anger.
A few days after Sayed Sadiq protests, hundreds of people staged a rally in the district of Kalak, Duhok province.
They also asked the KRG to provide more services in the city. While, a political analyst said that it might be a political revenge by the PUK supports due to the KDP channels covered the protests in Sayed Sadiq which is under PUK control.