Libya floods: eight officials in pre-trial detention for "negligence and mismanagement"

In Libya, the Tripoli prosecutor general ordered the pre-trial detention of eight officials working in the dam and water sector. A decision that follows the disaster of Derna. Two weeks ago, two dams submerged by torrential rains failed, devastating the eastern city. The survivors denounce negligence and corruption.

Derna, Libya, after Storm Daniel passes, September 19, 2023. © Houda Ibrahim/RFI

By: Houda Ibrahim Follow


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From our special envoy in Benghazi,

It was as part of the investigation into the failure of two dams that led to the deadly floods that the Tripoli prosecutor general's office placed eight officials in pre-trial detention for "negligence and mismanagement" among others, according to the statement released on September 25. Eight other less senior employees were also incarcerated.

The mayor of Derna, Abdel-Moneim al-Gaithi, already removed from office, is among those imprisoned, as well as the former chairman of the water resources department and his successor.

" READ ALSO Libya: resentment rises in Derna against politicians

The maintenance manager was also incarcerated. According to the prosecutor's statement, the Turkish company responsible for maintaining the dam has not fulfilled its specifications despite the huge sums paid. In a November 2022 study, Libyan engineer and academic Abdel-Wanis Ashour warned of the risk of disaster. But the country's authorities had done nothing.

Last week, protesters set fire to the house of Mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi and the eastern administration said it had been suspended and the entire city council had been sacked.

The floods have killed thousands and left thousands missing, with entire buildings swept away by the sea. International rescue teams are continuing their efforts to find bodies under the rubble and in the city's port, but hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.

Read alsoLibya: Derna residents demand accountability from authorities after floods

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  • Libya
  • Natural disasters
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  • Justice