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UN Libya envoy urges unified Derna flood response

October 2, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Abdoulaye Bathily, UN Special Representative for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in Tripoli on March 11, 2023 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Nations’ Libya envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily, said on Monday he was concerned about “unilateral and competing initiatives” by Libyan institutions to rebuild Derna, where a destructive flood killed thousands of people last month, Reuters reports.

Unilateral efforts are counter-productive, deepen the existing divisions in the country, impede reconstruction efforts and are at odds with the outpouring of solidarity, support and national unity shown by Libyan people

he said in a statement.

Libya has had little stable governance since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising and it split in 2014 between western and eastern factions with parallel political institutions.

On Sunday, the eastern administration said it was postponing an international conference it had planned to hold on reconstruction for Derna.

The internationally recognised government in Tripoli, in the west, has also said it plans to hold a reconstruction conference.

Analysts have said control over Derna’s reconstruction, which could bring large sums in finance and coordination with foreign powers, may become a major new arena for conflict between Libyan factions.

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