Why are the 'Yellow Vests' Appearing in Basra, Iraq?

Published December 10th, 2018 - 11:32 GMT

By Randa Darwish

Iraqis continue demonstrating the deteriorating living conditions in Basra city. Over the weekend, protesters donned high visibility jackets in Basra, inspired by the French 'Yellow Vests' uprising in Paris and all over the country.

In a scene similar to the one in Paris, Iraqi protesters wearing yellow vests were seen gathering in Basra demonstrating against the rising rates of poverty and unemployment and demanding better services and clean water to drink.

Clashes erupted between the Iraqi protesters and security forces who responded by live fire arms. No reports of injuries were reported however.

Dubbed as the “Iraqi Yellow Vests” protests, footage from the demonstrations was widely circulating in the social media.

With praise and applause, the Iraqi yellow vests found massive support from around the world.

Footage of one of the protesters being chased by the Basra Governor during the protests was also widely shared.

Since July 9, 2018, Basra and other southern and central provinces of Iraq have witnessed ongoing protests against the poor public services and rife corruption.

“The Yellow Vests” protest in France sparked in mid-November, when the government of Emmanuel Macron proposed fuel tax hikes as part of efforts to pursue clean energy policies.

Shortly after and under pressure, the French government suspended the tax hike, however, the Yellow Vests protests continued, demaing the resignation of Macron.

Since then, protests spread to Europe with many donning the yellow vests in solidarity with the Yellow Vests in France.

In Basra, where 80% of Iraq’s overall crude oil exports originate from, people have been complaining about the poverty, unemployment and polluted water that left thousands in hospitals  prone to killer diseases.

Read More: Basra Protests Continue, Wednesday, After 6 Were Killed Over Bad Conditions

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