Mahmud Turkia Agence France-Presse In a press release read during the demonstration on behalf of the “residents of Derna”, they have called for “a prompt investigation and legal action against those responsible for the disaster,” but further demand the dissolution of the current city council and an investigation into the city’s previous budgets.
Residents of Derna, in eastern Libya, protested on Monday to demand accountability after deadly floods devastated the town, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondents. .
Hundreds of residents gathered in front of the city's grand mosque, where they chanted slogans against the eastern authorities embodied by Parliament and its leader, Aguila Saleh.
“The people wants the fall of Parliament”, “Aguila [Saleh] is the enemy of God”, “the blood of martyrs is not shed in vain”, or even “those who stole or betrayed must be hanged”, – they chanted.
In a statement read during the demonstration on behalf of the “residents of Derna”, they called for “a rapid investigation and legal action against those responsible for the disaster.”
They also called for “the urgent establishment of a UN support office in Derna” and the launch of “the process of rebuilding the city and compensating affected residents.”
The statement further demands the dissolution of the current city council and an investigation into the city's previous budgets.
“The survivors of the city, in what remains of the city, against those who sowed death and destruction in the city,” Libyan analyst Anas el-Gomati wrote on X, commenting on images of the demonstration.
Risk of diseases
Politicians and analysts say the chaos in Libya has pushed maintenance of vital infrastructure like the Derna dams, whose collapse caused the floods that devastated the city on September 10, killing nearly 3,300, to the back burner. dead, according to the latest provisional official report.
Wracked by divisions since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is in fact governed by two rival governments: one in Tripoli (west), recognized by the UN and led by Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah; the other in the East, embodied by Parliament and affiliated with the camp of powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar's forces seized Derna in 2018, then a stronghold of radical Islamists and the only city in the east that escaped his control. But the authorities in the east maintain wary relations with Derna, considered a protest city since the time of Gaddafi.
The demonstration comes as rescuers are still searching for the bodies of thousands of missing people presumed dead in the floods in this city of 100,000 inhabitants bordering the Mediterranean.
The United Nations announced Monday that its agencies, including the World Health Organization, are working to “prevent the spread of disease and avoid a second devastating crisis in the region,” alerting the population of the risk from “the contaminated water and lack of hygiene.”
“For your safety, it is forbidden to use or drink water from the local network, because it is polluted by flooding,” said warned the Libyan Center for Disease Control.
Photo: Muhammad J. Elalwany Associated Press The Tripoli government has begun building a “temporary bridge” across the wadi which crosses Derna, the two banks of the city having been cut since the waves carried away the four structures which connected them.
Divers at work
International aid organizations and Libyan officials have warned that the final toll could be much higher due to the large number of missing people, estimated at thousands.
In the city, bulldozers and workers attempted to Monday to clear the earth from the courtyard of a mosque, where there was a nauseating odor, according to an AFP journalist.
Across the street, an elderly woman prayed for her children and grandchildren who perished in the catastrophe.
Rescuers sent by the United Arab Emirates met Monday morning at the port of Derna with their Libyan counterparts to coordinate efforts to recover bodies at sea, according to an AFP correspondent on site.
D Other teams of divers sent by Russia and Turkey are active in the same area.
Storm Daniel led to the rupture of two dams upstream and caused a flood of the magnitude of a tsunami along the wadi which crosses the city. She took everything in her path.
Dozens of bodies are extracted daily from the rubble of neighborhoods devastated by floods or washed up by the sea and buried in an apocalyptic landscape.
An Egyptian helicopter carrier which will serve as a field hospital has arrived on Sunday, with relief and rescue teams on board, according to Egyptian state media.
France, which deployed a field hospital and sent rescue workers to Derna, announced on Monday that It would also allocate “4 million euros [5.8 million Canadian dollars] to the United Nations for emergency aid and reconstruction in Libya.”
The European Union announced for its part the release of 5.2 million euros (7.5 million Canadian) for humanitarian aid in the country.
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