Iraq’s Abadi arrives in Basra in bid to contain popular protests
Iraqi Prime Minister, Haidar al-Abadi arrived on Monday in Basra at the head of a ministerial delegation to contain the week-long violent protests in the province.
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An official source in the Iraqi cabinet said that Abadi’s visit to Basra aims to oversee the implementation of decisions taken by the government two days ago to improve services in the province.
The source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media said the ministers of defence, interior, health and water resources accompanied Abadi on his visit, where they will stay in Basra until the completion of the tasks assigned to them.
He explained that the ministerial team would directly supervise the resumption of work on stalled service projects and repairing the damaged ones to improve the services of electricity, drinking water and health.
He added that the ministerial group have exceptional powers to allocate funds to start projects.
The visit aims to contain violent popular protests in Basra which started at the beginning of September.
Protests in the province intensified earlier this month after thousands of people were poisoned because of contaminated drinking water.
The violence in the province left 18 dead since the beginning of September.