Iraqi Riots Escalate As Severe Power Outage Continues


The high tomorrow in Baghdad is 108 degrees.

Millions of Iraqis are forced to spend over 18 hours a day without any electrical power, which means no air conditioning, no refrigeration, according to government estimates.

Hundreds have already rioted over the shortages, forcing the resignation of a power sector minister on June 23. According to an Iraqi reporter at IWPR, the riots are still getting worse.

Clearly this doesn’t look good for their government says IWPR:

“The fact that we still have so little electricity after all these years makes people think the government has done nothing for them. Maliki was counting on his security achievements to guarantee him the prime minister position again, but these demonstrations are a message the security alone is not enough. You have to deal with the needs of the people,” Ibrahim al-Sumaidaei, a lawyer and political analyst in Baghdad, said.

Or ours:

The US government, which has invested 4.6 billion dollars in rebuilding Iraq’s electricity sector, claims electricity production is up 50 per cent from 2003, but still can’t keep pace with demand. The US has said the energy crisis has reinforced the need for political stability.

Chronic power shortages are ironic for the country with earth’s fourth largest oil reserves. Even Saddam had trouble tapping that oil because of war. But was Saddam better at keeping the power on?

Don’t miss: 10 Oil Powers Of The Distant Future

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