April 23, 2024

The mayor’s home in the Libyan city of Derna has been burnt to the ground, as hundreds of protesters demanded answers for last week’s catastrophic flood.

They gathered on Monday evening at the city’s landmark Sahaba Mosque, some crying and chanting for top officials in Libya’s eastern government to be sacked.

More than 10,000 people are officially missing after two old and dilapidated dams burst, flooding the city.

At least 4,000 people have died.

The home of Derna’s mayor, Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi, has become a focal point for people’s anger.

Residents say they were not sufficiently warned by officials, who they believe must have known a huge amount of rainfall was coming.

They say they were also given a stay-at-home warning rather than told to evacuate, although officials deny this.

Since the ousting of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been riven by power struggles and currently has two governments – a UN-recognised one based in Tripoli, and another in the country’s east backed by warlord Gen Khalifa Haftar.

He has been calling the flooding a natural disaster but many analysts disagree, saying the eastern government failed to maintain the dams despite prior warnings about their fragile condition.

Demonstrators want more aid than what is already coming in from the rest of the country and abroad.

And with their most vital possessions washed away by the water, they also want processing facilities set up to replace lost passports and identity documents.

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