Gut a week after the flood disaster in Libya with thousands of deaths, demonstrators in the particularly hard-hit coastal town of Darna denounced serious failings by the authorities. Hundreds of people gathered on Monday in front of the large mosque in the city of 100,000 in the east of the country and chanted slogans against the local parliament and its chairman Aguilah Saleh.
A statement read on behalf of the demonstrators called for “a rapid investigation and legal action against those responsible for the disaster.” The protesters demanded the establishment of a UN office in Darna, the immediate reconstruction of the destroyed city and compensation for residents affected by the disaster.
“Those who survived in the city, in what was left of the city, against those who brought death and destruction to the city,” commented expert Anas el-Gomati on the protest on the online service X, formerly Twitter .
In Darna alone, 3,283 people die
Storm “Daniel” caused severe flooding in eastern Libya on Sunday last week. Darna was particularly hard hit because two river dams there burst. The force with which the masses of water rushed through a dry riverbed was comparable to that of a tsunami.
Numerous people were swept into the Mediterranean during the floods. Part of the city was buried under masses of mud. Dozens of corpses continue to be pulled out of the water or under rubble and mud every day. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health in eastern Libya, at least 3,283 people died in Darna and thousands more are missing.
Contamination causes massive problems
According to the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL), around 30,000 residents were left homeless by the disaster. Above all, contaminated water and the lack of sanitary facilities cause massive problems. There is a risk of “a second devastating crisis,” the UN support mission warned on Monday.
Since the overthrow and violent death of ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, chaos and violence have reigned in Libya, with armed militias and foreign mercenaries fighting each other. According to experts, maintenance of the vital infrastructure has played a minor role since then.
The UN-recognized interim government in the capital Tripoli in the west is fighting for power in the country with a counter-government in the east. The opposing government is supported by the local parliament and the powerful General Khalifa Haftar. Planned elections were repeatedly postponed.
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