Wed. Oct 4th, 2023

Hundreds of residents of the eastern Libyan city of Derna have protested against the local authorities, more than a week after heavy floods killed thousands in the city.

The protesters criticised the leader of eastern Libya’s parliament, Aguila Saleh, and local officials who they blame for the floods that have killed nearly 4,000 people, according to revised UN figures.

In a joint statement, the protesters – who had gathered outside the city’s main mosque on Monday – said they wanted speedy investigations into the disaster and legal action taken against the leaders responsible.

They also demanded compensation, investigations into the city’s finances and the rebuilding of Derna.

Eastern Libya is governed by a parallel government, separate from the UN-recognised government based in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

Several experts and humanitarian organisations have suggested that the floods could have been averted if the local authorities had evacuated residents or at least communicated the warnings about Storm Daniel.

Experts have also said that the neglect of the city’s dams led to their bursting and the unleashing of flood waters.

The protesters also burned the house of Derna’s mayor, Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi.

Mr Ghaithi, along with other Derna municipal officials, have since been suspended by the eastern Libya Prime Minister Osama Hammad.

By Joy

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