By Professor Frank R. Gunter, for the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Professor Gunter, a Senior Fellow in the FPRI’s Program on the Middle East, is a Professor of Economics at Lehigh University, and a member of the IBBC Advisory Council.

Iraq: Asking the Right Questions about Civil Disorder

Since October 1 of last year, over 600 Iraqis have been killed and thousands injured in protests throughout the country. The accompanying political and social chaos has strengthened efforts by other nations to interfere in Iraq with deadly effects.

What caused this sudden surge of violence? There are a wide range of political, economic, and social problems in Iraq, such as corruption, lack of public services, and mass unemployment.

But most observers focus on disputes among the Iraqi leaders or among various ethnic or religious groups as the causes of current civil disorder in Iraq.

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By Tessa Fox for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Explosive hazards in Mosul a major threat for years to come 

The classroom of 13-year-old boys was vibrant, filled with energy, as the final lesson of the day began, addressing a serious topic. One of the guest instructors held up posters of various suspicious objects. Some were more obviously mortars or hand grenades, but others appeared to be fun things, such as toys and dolls.

Representatives from the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), in coordination with the Iraqi Health and Social Care Organization, were delivering an explosive risk class at the Amer Abdullah School for Boys in Mosul, Iraq.

It may be the most important lesson the children there receive, as they face the daily risk of death or injury from unexploded ordnance (UXO). As Pehr Lodhammar, manager of the UNMAS Iraq program described it, “Western Mosul [in particular] has an explosive threat which is unlike anything we have seen in the past.

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