Viewof Baghdad

Political situation A difficult process of democratisation

At the end of 2017, the Iraqi government announced a military victory over the terrorist organisation calling itself “Islamic State” (IS), which had taken control over parts of the country beginning in 2014. In May 2018, parliamentary elections took place. They were largely peaceful, but forming a government proved to be difficult and the process took until June 2019.

In October 2019, violent protests against the government erupted in Baghdad and in the south of the country, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. They showed the massive discontent among the population, especially among young people, over the widespread corruption, insufficient infrastructure, high unemployment and government inefficiency. In November 2019, the government stepped down.

Following a government crisis that lasted several months, the Iraqi Parliament elected Mustafa al-Kadhimi, an independent politician, to be the new prime minister. In August 2020, he announced that new elections would be brought forward and would take place in 2021. There are still protests going on because of deficits in electricity and water supplies, the lack of economic prospects and corruption.

Security situation

The security situation in Iraq remains tense. The IS has regrouped underground. Again and again there are serious attacks and armed confrontations between terrorist groups and security forces. Armed militias who fought against the IS are pursuing their own agendas and it has often proved difficult to integrate them into official government security structures.

In response to the advances of the IS in the summer of 2014, a broad alliance of states was formed to fight the terrorist organisation. Germany is a member of this alliance, alongside the US and numerous European and Arab countries. The alliance is pursuing a strategy focusing on political, military and humanitarian aspects and the rule of law.