Libya survivors angry of neglect protest

Survivors of the deadly dam bursts in Derna, eastern Libya have turned their despair to anger, staging a protest to vent their frustrations to the slow help and demand justice from negligent officials.

The people want parliament to fall,” “Aguila is the enemy of God,” “The blood of martyrs is not shed in vain” and “Thieves and betrayers must hang,” hundreds of protesters shouted outside the city’s grand mosque.

The protesters also demanded a United Nations office in Derna, the start of the city’s reconstruction, compensation for affected residents” and a probe into the current city council and previous budgets.

Some protesters marched on a house reportedly owned by Derna’s unpopular mayor Abdulmonem al-Ghaithi and set it on fire, according to images shared on social networks and by Libyan media.

Al-Masar television reported that the head of the eastern-based government, Oussama Hamad, had dissolved Derna council and ordered an investigation into it.

Politicians and analysts say the chaos in Libya since the 2011 fall and killing of Moamer Kadhafi has relegated the maintenance of vital infrastructure to the background.

Dam waters submerged a densely populated six-square-kilometer area of Derna, damaging 1,500 buildings of which 891 were totally razed, according to a preliminary report by the Tripoli government based on satellite images.

Libya has been split between two rival governments — a United Nations-backed administration in the capital Tripoli and another in the disaster-hit east — since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-backed uprising 12 years ago.

In the face of the tragedy, rival Libyan administrations appear to have set aside their differences for now after calls to collaborate in the aid effort. On Monday, the Tripoli government said it began work on a temporary bridge over the river that cuts through Derna.


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