The governorate shares an international border with Iran in the east. It borders Diyala and Baghdad governorates to the north, Babil and Qadissiya to the west, and Dhi Qar, and Missan governorates to the south. The governorate is divided into the following districts: Azezia, Badra, Hai, Kut, Na'maniya, Suwaira. The capital is Kut. The governorate has an estimated population of 1 415 034 with the majority being Shia Arabs.
In 2017, it was reported that since security forces were redeployed in 2014 to the north and west to fight ISIL, a security void opened in the south. Fighting between rival Shia tribes over farmland, state construction contracts, and land ownership, gradually undermined the stability of the region. Wassit governorate is under the control of Iraqi police, however, one source indicated that all eight southern governorates should be considered areas of shared control between the Iraqi army or police and the PMU. Protests, sometimes violent and with fatalities, have occurred since 2018. The use of live ammunition against demonstrators was reported. Other types of security incidents, such as battles, explosions and targeted violence against civilians occurred only in low numbers.
ACLED reported a total of 41 security incidents (average of 0.5 security incidents per week) in Wassit governorate in the reference period, the majority of which coded as riots. Only one incident coded as ‘battle’, one incident coded as ‘explosion/remote violence’, and one incident of ‘violence against civilians’ were recorded in this period. Security incidents occurred in all districts of the governorate, with the largest overall number being recorded in the district of Kut. UNAMI recorded 10 armed conflict related incidents, 4 taking place in 2019 and 6 from 1st January until 31st July 2020 (average of 0.1 security incidents per week for the full reference period).
UNAMI recorded no casualties in 2019. From 1st January until 31st July 2020 a total of 2 civilian casualties (1 death and 1 injured) were recorded in the aforementioned armed conflict related incidents. 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 30 June 2020, Wassit hosted a total number of 6 084 IDPs, mainly originating from Ninewa. No returns were recorded in the governorate.
In 2015, it was reported that unexploded ordnances and mines from past wars remained a lingering threat in the governorate. An explosion of a landmine was recorded in 2019, resulting in civilian injuries.