News

    Iraqis Express Election Support Despite Violence

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Many Iraqis in violence-plagued Baghdad are expressing support for the interim government's decision to impose restrictive security measures before nationwide elections on January 30. Insurgents opposed to the polls are pressing on with attacks on Iraqi security forces, which are to provide security for voters on election day.

    To prevent suicide car bombings and other attacks on January 30th, Iraq's interim government announced on Saturday that it is preparing a range of measures, including a three-day nationwide ban on car travel and wide cordons around thousands of polling places.

    Many would-be voters on the streets of Baghdad expressed approval of the measures, even though some people may now have to walk long distances on election day and wait in long lines to be body-searched before being allowed inside to vote.

    College student, Hassan Ali, 27, says with insurgent attacks escalating daily in the capital and elsewhere in the country, he believes the government has no choice but to implement such harsh measures. "I think that is a good thing to do because the place is not fully secured and a lot of people want this election to fail so that they can make their point," he said.

    In the past four months, Sunni Muslim extremists and al-Qaida-related terrorists have killed at least seven election workers, several candidates, and nearly 1,500 Iraqi policemen and soldiers.

    Despite the violence and repeated warnings from insurgents to boycott the elections, a recent independent survey of nearly 2,200 people across Iraq found that nearly a third of the country's population intend to vote in this month's balloting to create a new transitional national assembly.

    Shiite Muslims, who make up 60 percent of the population but suffered under decades of Sunni Muslim rule, stand to gain the most from these elections and have been vocal supporters of the balloting process.

    Shiite Muslim, Mohammed Kadhim, 37, says not being able to drive on election day will not keep him from exercising his right to have a say in his country's future. "I will walk. That is not a big problem for me because I am doing the best thing for the country. I want to vote. I want to make a government," he said.

    But senior Iraqi and U.S. officials acknowledge that even with stepped up security, elections may not be possible in certain Sunni areas of the country where the insurgency is taking a huge daily toll on civilians and Iraqi security forces.

    The latest attack occurred in the oil refining town of Beiji in the Sunni heartland north of Baghdad. Insurgents detonated a car bomb at a police station, killing nearly a dozen people and wounding another 20. A short time later, gunmen killed eight Iraqi soldiers at a military checkpoint near another insurgent stronghold of Baqoubah, northeast of the capital.

    About 130,000 Iraqi troops and police are to take the lead in protecting 55-hundred polling stations in Iraq on January 30th. But to reassure nervous voters, the U.S. military says 150,000 of its troops will be close by to back them up.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora