This is November’s edition of my south Iraq SIGACT monitoring report. November has seen an uptick in activity across several categories (including tribal fighting, kidnapping, and protest activity). Monitoring captured a total of 66 incidents (up from 42 in October).
There has been a marked increase in protest activity towards the end of November (continuing into early December). Protests have been much more limited than the extraordinary scenes seen in July and September, mainly constrained to particular sectors (electricity and education have been the two main ones). Protesters want to be transferred onto more permanent public sector contracts with more benefits. This said, there have also been protests at the Basra Oil Company and protests started up again at the West Qurnah 2 site in early December.
There is potential for these protests to escalate into more serious unrest. However, violence and threats continue to be meted out against protest organisers. For example, on 18 November Sheikh Wissam al-Ghrawi, a prominent activist in recent protests was assassinated by armed group who ambushed him outside his home in al-Muwafaqiya in Basra. He had also been advocating for Basra becoming a separate region.
I am now in PhD thesis writing mode, so only have time to dump the data without any additional analysis. Find map of incidents and pivot table below.
SIGACT MAP: South Iraq November 2018 (Click “View larger map” for full functionality)
PIVOT TABLE: South Iraq November 2018