Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – The mayor of Libya’s eastern city of Derna has been detained along with other officials on suspicion of mismanagement and negligence over the collapse of dams that flooded the city two weeks ago, Libya’s attorney general’s office said on Monday, September 25.
The attorney general’s office, based in the capital Tripoli, said it had issued orders to detain eight local officials over the collapse of dams in a storm, which unleashed the torrent that swept neighbourhoods into the sea, killing thousands.
“The mistakes that they made” and their “negligence in the matter of disaster prevention” contributed to the catastrophe, the statement charged.
Those detained included the mayor and an official in charge of water resources, it said, without identifying them.
In a statement on Monday, the attorney general’s office accused the officials of numerous failings, such as mismanaging funds meant to maintain the dams that burst and caused the floods in Derna.
His office also said that the officials had shown neglect by failing to take precautions, leading to flood-related deaths and economic losses for Libya.
On Sunday, the eastern government said that the number of confirmed deaths from the floods had reached 3,868.
The attorney general’s office said that investigations into other officials were ongoing and there could be more arrests.