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Drivers at Bashmakh border crossing protest over illegal drivers

Drivers working at the Bashmakh border crossing protested in front of the Sulaimani Provincial Council building on February 28, 2021 (NRT Digital Media)
2021-02-28

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SULAIMANI — Drivers working at the Bashmakh border crossing protested in front of the Sulaimani Provincial Council building on Sunday (February 28), angry that other drivers are illegally working at the crossing.

One of the protesters said that their work has been officially authorized, but their livelihoods are undercut by others who do not go through the proper licensing procedures.

“Shame on the government, which always talks about reforms,” another driver said.

He added that he can be punished for the smallest infraction, but the illegal drivers violate the rules with impunity.

“They have taken over 70 percent of our work,” another driver said.

There were several protests last year about the issue, but the government has not yet fixed the problem, the drivers said.

Most of the goods sold in the Kurdistan Region are imported from Iran or Turkey, making transactions at the border both vital for the local economy and lucrative for those who do business there.

(NRT Digital Media)