The Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mehdi officially announced his resignation to Parliament in the afternoon (local time) on Saturday, November 30. The announcement comes two days after one of the most violent days in the nationwide protest movement that has been ongoing since early October, during which around 400 people died and at least 15,000 have been wounded. This happened shortly after influential Shiite politician Muqtada Sadr and other political parties pushed for a no confidence vote in the government.
Gatherings have been reported in Baghdad and other cities as a result of the announcement. Related gatherings are to be expected over the coming several hours and days.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah, and other major urban centers over the coming hours following the announcement. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely near all protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. An estimated 400 people have been killed and 15,000 wounded since protests began.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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