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Libyans demonstrate against authorities in flood-hit Derna

“Aguila, we don’t want you!” All Libyans are brothers! » chanted the demonstrators, calling for national unity in a country politically fractured by more than a decade of conflict and chaos.

Mansour, a student participating in the protest, said he wanted an urgent investigation into the dam collapse, which “caused us to lose thousands of beloved people.”

Taha Miftah, 39, said the protest was a message that “governments have failed to handle the crisis”, adding that Parliament was particularly responsible.

He called for an international investigation into the disaster and “reconstruction under international supervision”.

The full extent of the death toll is not yet known, and thousands of people are still missing. The authorities have given widely varying death tolls. The World Health Organization has confirmed 3,922 deaths.

Saleh last week sought to deflect blame from authorities, calling the flood an “unprecedented natural disaster” and saying people should not focus on what could or should have been done.

But commentators have drawn attention to advance warnings, including an academic paper published last year by a hydrologist highlighting the city’s vulnerability to flooding and the urgent need to maintain the dams that protected it.

Derna is located in eastern Libya, a part of the country controlled by military commander Khalifa Hifter and overseen by a government established alongside the internationally recognized administration in Tripoli to the west.


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