The U.S.-fortified enclave in central Baghdad known as the Green Zone opened to the public for the first time in 12 years Sunday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi reportedly stated that by opening a swath of the city to the public, he was fulfilling “one of the measures we promised the people.”
Throughout the Iraq War, the Green Zone endured as a symbol of the disconnect between ordinary Iraqis and their overlords. Whether they were the U.S.-backed provisional government or those whom Iraqis later voted into power, the Green Zone’s inhabitants enjoyed relative security amid over a decade of chaos in Baghdad.
According to The Washington Post, not everything was back to normal Sunday. Drivers can now enter the Green Zone, but “can navigate only a single road,” which “has been newly flanked with blast walls.” One local told the Post that the limited access shows that the authorities “are still afraid of us, the people.”
And by Monday, it seems, Baghdad’s poor logistics were back in full swing:
With fanfare the Green Zone was announced open to public in #Baghdad. PM came himself. Today the only entrance open is shut for maintenence
— Imran Khan (@ajimran) October 5, 2015
It does, however, seem that opening the Green Zone relieved traffic congestion in the city.
Monday also saw a series of car bombings throughout Iraq, including one that killed 12 people in the Baghdad area.
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