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Iraq protestors block key oil refineries as demonstrations continue

Iraq protestors block key oil refineries as demonstrations continue

2019/11/06 | 16:15

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Protestors in Iraq on Wednesday blocked the entrance of two oil refineries in southern Iraq as nationwide demonstrations rage on.

Security and oil sources said demonstrators blocked the entrance of the Nassiriya oil refinery, obstructing tankers that transport fuel to petrol stations from entering the facility, Reuters reports.

The incident has caused fuel shortages across Iraq’s southern Dhi Qar province, it added.

Before the protests began in early October, the Nassiriya refinery was producing at least 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), but that number has dropped as low as 15,000 bpd.

Elsewhere, protestors closed the Al-Shanfiyah, located south of Diwaniya province, preventing trucks from entering or leaving, Anadolu Agency reported.

Read More: Iraqi security use live rounds to disperse protestors in Baghdad, witnesses say

Demonstrators are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.

The protests over the past month reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, including high levels of unemployment, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.

The United Nations has called for an end to the bloodshed, calling on both protesters and security forces to end violence and begin dialogue.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, said the closure of ports and oil refineries are “detrimental” to the country’s economy.

“Disruption of critical infrastructure also of grave concern,” she wrote. It is the “responsibility of all to protect public facilities.”

Threats and closures “of roads to oil installations, ports [are] causing billions in losses [and] undermines fulfilling protestors’ legitimate demands.”







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