Iraq’s security forces are struggling to contain the largest uprising since Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003. The unrest prevented U.S. Vice President Mike Pence from meeting with Iraq’s prime minister in Baghdad over the weekend. Instead, the pair discussed protests and other issues by phone.
“He pledged to me that they would work to protect and respect peaceful protesters as … part of the democratic process here in Iraq,” Pence told reporters.
Failing infrastructure and government corruption sparked demonstrations in early October. The government’s responded with force, killing more than 300 people so far and injuring thousands. More than a dozen protestors were killed on Sunday in “one of the worst” days of violence since the movement began, an authority told Associated Press.
Middle East Concern’s Daniel Hoffman says protestors remain in the streets due, at least in part, to uprisings elsewhere in the region. Learn how Middle East Concern supports persecuted Christians in Iraq.
“These demonstrators, whether it’s in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, or Iraq, are encouraging each other, and are encouraged if they see that in one country significant changes happen in response to [the] demonstration.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth