The residents of Derna took to the streets Libya where thousands demonstrated today demanding that the authorities be held accountable after the killings floods which leveled the city, according to AFP correspondents.
Hundreds of residents gathered outside the city’s Grand Mosque and chanted slogans against eastern Libya’s authorities, parliament and its president, Aguila Saleh. “The people want the fall of the parliament”, “Aguila is the enemy of God” and “The blood of the martyrs was not shed in vain” but also “Those who stole or betrayed must be hanged”, were some of these slogans.
A statement read at the demonstration “on behalf of the residents of Derna” called for a swift investigation and for “those responsible for the destruction” to be brought to justice. Also, the residents demanded that “a UN support office in Derna” be operated and the reconstruction process of the city be started, as well as compensations to be given to those affected.
Those gathered called for the dissolution of the city council and an investigation into the city’s past budgets.
“The survivors, in what’s left of the city, are turning against those who sowed death and destruction,” Libyan analyst Anas el Gomati wrote on Platform X, commenting on photos from the demonstration.
According to politicians and analysts, due to the chaos that has prevailed in Libya in recent years, the maintenance of vital infrastructures, such as the Derna dams, which collapsed and flooded the city on September 10, took second place.
Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been effectively ruled by two rival governments: one in Tripoli (recognised by the UN) under Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeiba, and one in the east, where the parliament is based, under the leadership of the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar. In 2018, Haftar’s forces captured Derna, which at the time was a stronghold of extremist Islamists.
The demonstration came as rescuers continue to search for thousands of people missing from the flood, who are believed to be dead.
Earlier today, the UN announced that its agencies, notably the World Health Organization, are fighting to prevent the spread of disease and prevent a “second catastrophic crisis in the region”, warning that there is a risk due to contaminated water and lack of hygiene measures. “For your safety, it is forbidden to use or drink the water of the local water supply network because it is contaminated,” the Libyan Center for Disease Control said.
They remove the mud with bulldozers
In the city, bulldozers and workers were this morning trying to remove mud from the courtyard of a mosque. Opposite them, an old woman was praying for her children and grandchildren who were lost in the flood.
Rescuers from the United Arab Emirates met in the morning at the port along with their Libyan counterparts to coordinate the effort to retrieve the dead from the sea. Teams of divers sent by Russia and Turkey have taken action in the same area.
Yesterday Sunday an Egyptian helicopter arrived in the area which will be used as a floating hospital. France, which has also sent an expeditionary hospital, announced today that it will give 4 million euros to the United Nations to be used for the relief of those affected.
The European Union released 5.2 million euros for humanitarian aid in the country.
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The article Libya: Demonstrations in Derna against those responsible for the disaster – Divers retrieve bodies was published on NewsIT .