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22/02/11 17:15 CET

Anti-government protests sprang up across the country in the middle of February. The worst violence was witnessed in the autonomous Kurdish region in the north of Iraq, where people targeted their anger at the two dominant political parties and demanded something be done to tackle corruption. At least three protesters there were killed in the unrest. Economic hardship is also fuelling demonstrations in Baghdad, Kut, Basra and other cities. They are not calling for a regime change – Iraq is, in principle at least, a democracy, but rather better governance and accountability.

Political system : republic
President:Jalal Talabani – 2005 / …

Capital: Baghdad
Population: 32.1 million
Human Development Index1: not listed
Unemployment: 15.2 (2008 estimate)

1 HDI is calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.

back to our news file: Unrest in the Arab world

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