Concerns over the effectiveness of demonstrations

Protestors in Penjwen demand 24-hour electricity and public services

PENJWEN — Residents of Penjwen have launched protests demanding 24-hour electricity and improved public services in this border city in the Sulaymaniyah governorate, near Iran.

Before 2014, Penjwen received continuous 24-hour electricity from Iran in exchange for oil shipments. However, in recent years, electricity supplied by Sulaymaniyah’s Darbandikhan has been limited to 20 hours a day. Protesters are calling for a return to the full 24-hour supply.

“Our problems are many. We need to run private generators. It’s not just shops that are affected, it impacts everyone,” Khalid Mohammed, a protester, told 964media.

However, he expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the demonstrations, indicating a deep-seated distrust of the government’s responsiveness. “I believe these protests won’t resolve anything because this government ignores everything the people say,” Mohammed said during the protest.

Osman Rashid is local butcher participating in the demonstrations. “The government and relevant authorities must listen to our demands. Penjwen, with its two international borders, cannot afford to be without electricity and proper services,” he says, referring to the Sairanban and Basmaq border crossings with Iran.

In addition to electricity, protesters are demanding road repairs, especially on the Penjwen–Kawlos road, paving of village roads, hospital renovations, and job opportunities for youth.

They have vowed to continue their demonstrations until their demands are met and warned of potential blockades at the two international borders, Sairanban and Bashmakh Border Crossings, which are crucial economic gateways for all of Kurdistan. The protesters highlighted the inadequate local services despite the area’s significance.

Penjwen has a history of protests, particularly concerning electricity issues, with residents expressing ongoing dissatisfaction with the government’s responsiveness to their needs.

Classes resume in Penjwen after teacher strikes

Classes resume in Penjwen after teacher strikes

Tensions rise as Kurdistan Region locals protest Iran-Iraq border fence

Tensions rise as Kurdistan Region locals protest Iran-Iraq border fence