In Libya… How did floods and humanitarian crisis expose political corruption?

Floods and a humanitarian disaster have brought increased calls for accountability in the city of Derna, Libya

The devastating floods there have resulted in the deaths of over 11,000 people, according to Libyan authorities, as Storm Daniel wreaked havoc on poorly maintained infrastructure and engulfed entire neighborhoods.

Naturally, Libya is divided among warring factions competing for power and wealth in its oil-rich economy, where corruption has been exposed by Storm Daniel.

Corruption and plunder

According to the international site “INR,” for the past decade, there has been a government supported by the United Nations in Tripoli in the west, and in the east, a competing parliament controlled by the military, with its authorities responsible for Derna. These two sides appear to be quite similar to each other, as no prime minister has ever been elected in the west; he was appointed to lead the country to elections but essentially refuses to do so, relying on some intimidating militias to stay in power. This political division has led to astonishing levels of theft and corruption.

The systematic looting of state institutions by politicians and militias kept in power is ongoing. Additionally. there is rampant human trafficking. drug smuggling. fuel smuggling, and arms smuggling on a massive scale. Many Libyans refer to it as a state of gangs in reality. and corruption has become the hallmark of modern Libya. prevailing to some extent, explaining the reason behind the lack of maintenance of the dams that released the violent wall of water that inundated Derna.

Another reason is the use of development as a weapon by politicians, keeping Derna and other cities across Libya deliberately in a state of collapse.

Crisis escalated

The site emphasized that Derna is an ancient city. historically a center of thought. All of that changed during Gaddafi’s era, as its intellectuals and thinkers resisted his rule. leading to severe sanctions against the city. As is the case in any other place in the Middle East. when all liberal or secular intellectuals are killed or flee. the only remaining language of opposition is Islamist. Thus, Derna became a major city of Islamist resistance to Gaddafi.

In Libya, there are no comprehensive ideological conflicts. there is no sectarianism; it is somewhat homogeneous. and it should not be divided and fractured to this extent. However, this is the work of the political class. now consisting of two families, in the silence of the West.

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