In southern Iraqi oilfields, clashes between protestors and security forces have erupted. According to local media, on last Sunday clashes began after a group of protesters attempted to block a road leading to oil fields in the district of Zubair, located near the country’s main port city of Basra.
Protestors demand for jobs in the oilfields. They chanted, “It’s our oil, we have a right to it.”
A demonstrator said, “I graduated in computer engineering five years ago and I still haven’t found a job.”
He also added, “Most of the youth in Zubair is unemployed. Even when the oil companies are hiring, they bring people from other provinces and nobody cares about our area because we don’t belong to any party and have no connections.”
Iraq heavily relies on the oil it produces in the south. The Arab country exported from southern oil fields more than 3.2 million barrels last month.
However, the Basra region has been the scene of protests over the past months as people have become increasingly angry about poor services in the area, including lack of electricity and water.
Iraq is currently the world’s fourth oil producer and holds the world’s fifth-largest reserves. However, rampant corruption and drop of global oil price have caused major financial worries for Iraq.