Ongoing protests in southern and central Iraq were boosted by PM Abadi’s moves against corruption, but are not a coherent movement. Those in the key southern oil province of Basra risk descending into inter-militia battles, in turn threatening the rise of local oil output: one of Iraq’s few recent success stories.Local protests across the Shia areas of Iraq – Baghdad and to the south – have been strong since July. But, despite shaking the political class in August, they face clear challenges.

The new movement began to gain momentum in June, driven mainly by the lack of electricity amid the summer heat (MEES, 21 August). (CONTINUED - 1847 WORDS)