Libya: Resentment rises in Derna against politicians

A week after the floods that killed thousands, hope is dwindling to find survivors in Derna. Some relatives of the disappeared now want only one thing: to find their bodies to bury them. This while resentment towards the authorities is spreading among the population.

Derna residents gathered outside a mosque in Derna on 18 September to demand accountability for the neglect in the maintenance of the two dams that failed during Storm Daniel. AFP - HUSSAM AHMED

By: Houda Ibrahim Follow


Read more

From our Special Envoy to Libya,

For seven days, this man, the only survivor of his family, has spent hours watching the sea that swept away his family. He was filmed by a paramedic. The latter tells us that he did not even dare to approach him to talk to him.

The more time passes, the more the hope of finding survivors dwindles, admitted Monday the Minister of Health of the government of eastern Libya, not recognized by the international community. Moreover, yesterday, the rescuers dispatched to the scene by the Spanish authorities declared to put an end to their search. However, efforts continue to try to find the bodies swept away by the sea. Yesterday, according to a volunteer rescuer working in the city, more than 600 bodies were recovered in front of Derna. According to a rescuer from the Egyptian team, hundreds of families have become trapped in their cars trying to flee danger.


Behind the pain and pain, the shock is now giving way to great anger among the displaced and wounded of Derna who are in Benghazi. They appeal to the Attorney General of the Republic in Tripoli. They are not only asking him to open a general investigation, but to be transparent so that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.

This anger was also heard today in Derna in the slogans of the demonstrators. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Assahaba mosque in the centre of the city, demanding that Aguila Saleh, the Tubruk-based head of parliament, resign and dissolve parliament and the two governments. For these demonstrators who present themselves as "those who remain", the politicians, accused of corruption, are perceived as responsible for this disaster. Derna lost 20% of its inhabitants last Monday.

The protesters are most angry with the city council and the head of that council. The latter was not elected, but appointed by the Head of Parliament. The money dedicated to the maintenance of the two dams was never used. It must be said that Libya has been in chaos since 2011. The country suffers not only from negligence in the management of affairs, but also and above all from endemic corruption.

" READ ALSO Floods in Libya: disagreement between UN and Red Crescent on the death toll of 11300 in Derna

NewsletterReceive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


Read on on the same topics:

  • Libya