SAID SADIQ, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Angry demonstrators took to the streets of Said Sadiq in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region’s east on Wednesday, as renewed anti-KRG government protests threaten to further destabilize the region.
A group of close to 150 demonstrators began throwing stones at local offices of the Barzani-led Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Kurdistan Islamic Party (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) in the town, NRT reported.
A stone-throwing protesters were prevented by Kurdish police from attacking a KDP building and six people were injured as a result of the disputes.
Protesters then burned tires, blocking a main road linking the town with Penjwen, some 20 kilometers east of Sulaimani, before moving to the mayor’s building.
Demonstrations in Said Sadiq followed similar protests in the town of Darbandikhan on Monday where locals demanded the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) pay government employees’ salaries which have been delayed nearly four months.
KRG officials have blamed an ongoing economic crisis for chronic delays in salaries that began in 2014. Erbil increased independent oil exports from the region in an effort to make up for delayed payments.
Meanwhile the spokesman of Change (Gorran) Movement, stated that the movement supports peaceful protests against a government decision to decrease salaries of its clerks.
Shoresh Haji said after reading a statement denouncing the decision that his movement is against the decisions and supports peaceful rallies against it.
Little progress has been made in in catching up on salaries for government employees, sparking protests throughout the region.
In October 2015 thousands of people demonstrated against KRG and KDP in Sulaimani city and several other Kurdish towns, demanding payment of their salaries from KRG and that KDP leader Massoud Barzani to step down. Several local KDP headquarter buildings were set on fire by the protesters.
Barzani has been accused by critics of amassing huge wealth for his family instead of serving the population. Barzani’s son is the Kurdistan region’s intelligence chief and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani is the prime minister.