Muthanna governorate is located in southwestern Iraq and borders Najaf, Qadissiya, Dhi Qar and Basrah governorates, and shares an international border with Saudi-Arabia. The governorate is divided into four districts: Al-Samawa, Al-Khidhir, Al-Rumaitha and Al-Salman. The capital of the governorate is Al-Samawa. The governorate has an estimated population of 835 797. The vast majority of Muthanna’s inhabitants are Shia Arabs.
Having been spared the onslaught of ISIL’s 2014 offensive, Muthanna governorate was assessed as one of the safest governorates of Iraq in 2015. The presence of ISF, PMU Brigades and of Shia armed groups was reported in the area. The administrative head of the PMU in Muthanna belongs to the Badr organisation.
Problems of criminality, drug abuse, and violence between Shia armed groups and tribal groups occurred in the governorate. Violence was mostly related to control of land, oil revenues and water scarcity, and predominantly affected those who were actively involved in a militia or tribal group. In 2019 and 2020, ISF and PMU reportedly used excessive or disproportionate violence in order to repress protests, causing numerous deaths and injuries. Protesters setting buildings on fire and causing deaths was also reported in Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Qadissiya governorates.
ACLED reported a total of 26 security incidents (average of 0.3 security incidents per week) in Muthanna governorate in the reference period, the majority of which coded as riots. Only one incident coded as ‘battle’, two incidents coded as ‘explosions/remote violence’, and no incidents of ‘violence against civilians’ were recorded in this period. Security incidents occurred in the districts of Al-Rumaitha, Al-Salman and Al-Samawa, which had the largest overall number of recorded incidents. UNAMI recorded 6 armed conflict related incidents, 4 taking place in 2019 and 2 from 1st January until 31st July 2020 (average of 0.1 security incidents per week for the full reference period).
In the reference period, UNAMI recorded a total of 4 civilian casualties (3 deaths and 1 injury) in the aforementioned armed conflict related incidents. More specifically, 2 casualties were reported in 2019, and 2 casualties were reported from 1st January until 31st July 2020. Compared to the official figures for the population in the governorate, this represents less than 1 civilian casualty per 100 000 inhabitants for the full reference period.
As of 15 June 2020, 996 IDPs were registered in Muthanna. No IDPs originating from Muthanna were registered elsewhere in the country. Muthanna was not listed among the governorates with a presence of returnees.
In 2019, one source indicated that Muthanna was among those southern governorates most affected by remnants of cluster munitions dating back to the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion.
Based on the available country of origin information, it can be concluded that no armed conflict within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD is taking place in the governorate of Muthanna.
Main COI reference: Security situation 2020, 4.4