The week’s events forced Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi to finally take action. Governor Nazim al-Waeli resigned over the deaths and the PM named Abdul Ghani al-Asadi the head of the National Security Agency to be interim governor. The protesters immediately rejected his appointment. Kazemi’s move is likely meant to get control of Nasiriya and put an end to the protests. The premier did this before in December. After the Sadrists attacked the sit-in square in the city in November 2020 killing eight, the PM shut down the demonstrations and then launched a series of raids and arrests against activists. That only worked temporarily as the crowds eventually returned to the city a few weeks later. Assigning an intelligence chief to be governor could mean more resources are going to be devoted to a new crackdown. The question is how quickly this can go into effect because there are already sympathy protests in other cities across the south.
NINA, “Angry Protesters Set Fire To Part Of Dhi Qar Governorate Building In Nasiriyah,” 2/26/21
Ali, Sura, “Dhi Qar governor resigns as protester death toll climbs in Nasiriyah,” 2/26/21
Al Nasiriya, “A statement by Al-Haboubi protesters reject the appointment of Al-Asadi as governor, even “for one hour,”” 2/26/21
Shafaaq News, “The death toll from Nasiriya protests rose to 6,” 2/26/21
- “Human Rights announces 276 victims and injured in the events of Nasiriya: the situation is out of control,” 2/26/21