Creating new perspectives since 2009

Libya: 4 new officials in detention due to floods

September 30, 2023 at 9:44 am

An aerial view of devastation after the floods in Derna, Libya on September 18, 2023. [Halil Fidan – Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan Public Prosecutor ordered the placement of four new officials in pretrial detention as part of an investigation into the collapse of two dams that caused devastating floods in the city of Derna in the east of the country on 10 September.

On 25 September, the Public Prosecutor ordered the imprisonment of eight officials, including the former mayor of Derna, as part of this case.

The statement issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday night explained that four people, including two members of the city’s municipal council, were placed in detention pending investigation given their alleged responsibility for “mismanaging the administrative and financial work entrusted to them and the contribution of their inadequate job performance to a massive flood,” which caused the deaths of thousands.

READ: Derna children traumatised in aftermath of Libya floods triggered by Storm Daniel

For its part, the authorities of eastern Libya announced on Friday that they would begin to compensate those affected by the floods caused by Storm Daniel in the coming days.

The government in the east of the country shared in a statement that the survey forms regarding the damages by the storm were delivered to the head of the committee in charge of this matter, and the checks were delivered to the heads of the affected municipalities.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Faraj Qaim said that 100,000 Libyan dinars (19,000 euros) would be given to residents whose homes were destroyed by floods.

He added that those whose homes were partially destroyed would receive 50,000 dinars (€ 9,500) while 20,000 (about €3,870) were allocated to residents who lost their furniture and household appliances due to rising water levels.

The authorities in eastern Libya announced this week the establishment of a fund for the reconstruction of the city of Derna, where a conference is scheduled to be held on 10 October to prepare for the reconstruction.

READ: Does Libya have the ability to hold accountable those responsible for the Derna disaster?

The eastern government did not specify how this fund would be financed, but the eastern-based Parliament allocated 10 billion dinars (€1.9 billion) for reconstruction projects.

These announcements come amid fears of corruption and mismanagement of funds allocated for reconstruction.

The United Nations (UN) envoy to Libya Abdoulaye Bathily stated on Thursday in Brussels that he called for the proper management of funds during consultations with the European Commission.

Bathily added on X (formerly Twitter) that he reiterated his call to the international community to voice their support for holding elections and unifying Libyan institutions.

Devastated by divisions since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is governed by two competing administrations: one in Tripoli, led by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and recognised by the UN, and the other in the east, represented by Parliament and affiliated with the camp of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

READ: Rescuers search sea for Libya survivors after floods