On one side of the Tigris river, east Mosul is staging a comeback. Some 20 months since northern Iraq’s biggest city was won back from Isis extremists, its funfair, sweetshops and university are back in business. But on the other side of the river smoulders the city’s devastated west bank, an eerie shadow of the recovering east.
In west Mosul’s almost deserted old city, bodies are still being found beneath the rubble. Signs warn of unexploded ordnance and bombs. Children scavenge scrap metal to survive as poverty bites.
The stark divide illustrates one of Iraq’s biggest problems — a crisis of governance. War has been replaced by administrative dysfunction and alleged public sector corruption, ills that are fuelling growing resentment of the government in a country whose stability remains tenuous.