Libya flood-hit people hold protest rally

2023-09-19 08:32:53
Libya flood-hit people hold protest rally

In the Derna demonstration, people demanded the accountability of officials accused of negligence, including Aguila Saleh, the head of the eastern Libyan parliament.

"Aguila, we don't want you! All Libyans are brothers!" "The people want the parliament to fall", "Aguila is the enemy of God", chanted the demonstrators.

Demonstrators gathered outside the city's Grand Mosque also demanded the punishment of government officials responsible for the disaster, chanting "Thieves and traitors must be hanged."

A statement read on behalf of the demonstrators called for "quick investigations and legal action against those responsible for the disaster".

One of the demonstrators said that the demonstration is a message that "governments have failed to manage the crisis", adding that parliament is particularly to blame. He called for an international investigation into the disaster and "reconstruction under international supervision".

Disaster struck Derna and surrounding villages last Sunday after heavy rains from Mediterranean Storm Daniel caused two dams in the town to collapse. The death toll from the catastrophic floods has risen to 11,300, the United Nations said Saturday, citing the Libyan Red Crescent.

More than 10,000 people are still missing in the city, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, citing data from the Red Crescent.

The floods also destroyed entire coastal towns. UN agencies have warned that tens of thousands of Derna residents are homeless and in desperate need of clean water, food and basic necessities as cholera, diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition are on the rise.

Last week, Saleh tried to deflect blame from the authorities, describing the flood as an "unprecedented natural disaster" and saying people should not focus on what could or should have been done.

But commentators have pointed to earlier warnings, including an academic paper published last year by a hydrologist describing the city's vulnerability to flooding and the urgent need to maintain the levees that protect it. According to Libyan media, some protesters marched on a house belonging to the unpopular mayor of Derna, Abdulmonem al-Ghaith, and set it on fire.

Hichem Abu Chkiouat, a minister in the eastern Libyan government, said Ghaithi had been removed from office.

(Source: Agencies)


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