Kurdish security forces dispersed a student demonstration, in which thousands participated, to demand the repayment of student stipends, by shooting in the air and using tear gas canisters, while those demonstrations caused severe traffic jams and paralyzed traffic in the city of Sulaymaniyah on Tuesday evening.
The demonstrators are demanding the repayment of monthly allowances of between 40 and 66 dollars, which were granted to students, but have been suspended since 2014 after the collapse of international oil prices.
One of the demonstrators said, “We, as students, are demonstrating because of the interruption of financial allocations over the past six years.”
He added, “We are in dire need of this small amount. There are students among our colleagues who are unable to travel to their home in the districts and sub-districts due to the lack of sufficient funds for that.”
“We have other students who cannot eat three meals a day,” he added.
In turn, Sarah Qadir, who is preparing for a doctorate at the University of Sulaymaniyah, said, “The demonstrators’ requests are legitimate. The students are suffering from a difficult economic situation, and the government has to respond to their demands?
A source in the Ministry of Higher Education in Kurdistan, preferring not to be identified, said that the ministry needs 70 billion dinars (46 million dollars) annually to cover the allocations of students who number more than 135,000 students throughout the Kurdistan region. He added that the Ministry of Finance of the Territory should allocate this amount to the Ministry of Education