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Libyan “stability” ignores accusations of seeking “political gains” during the crisis

The Libyan “stability” government ignored accusations that it was seeking to achieve “political gains” and “obstruct the arrival of aid and relief to the afflicted” in the city of Derna, by asking international organizations not to deal with its rival, the interim “unity” government, headed by Abdul Hamid Al-Dabaiba.

Hussein Suwaidan, head of the emergency room of the Roads and Bridges Authority of the Dabaiba government, estimated the rate of damage to the infrastructure in the affected areas at about 70 percent, confirming the collapse of 11 bridges as a result of the floods, including 2 linking Derna to the cities of Sousse and Al-Qubba, 6 others inside Derna, and 3 bridges on the road. Stretching between Shahat and Sousse.

Suwaidan confirmed the collapse of 80 percent of the water ferries in all cities and villages in the eastern region, noting that damage to public roads is estimated at 50 percent in the affected areas.

In turn, Musa Al-Maqarif, Minister of Education in the “Unity” government, said that 95 percent of educational institutions were damaged by torrents and floods in the affected areas, while Ali Al-Quwairah, Director of the Educational Facilities Department, announced that the number of damaged schools in the affected areas reached 114 schools. Distributed among 15 municipalities.

The government of Osama Hammad did not comment on the announcement of Youssef Al-Aqouri, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, during its last session that the government, its ministers, and some representatives called on international organizations and foreign ambassadors to stop communicating with Al-Dabaiba for “political gains, while people are dying, and the bodies are in the sea in Derna.” ».

Hammad dismissed the Derna Municipal Council and referred it for investigation, hours after demonstrators stormed the house of Abdel Moneim Al-Ghaithi, mayor of the municipality, and set it on fire late on Monday evening. The “stability” government also asked journalists to leave Derna, hours after a massive demonstration on Monday evening, the first to be reported in the city since it was exposed to the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.

The demonstrators criticized Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and chanted slogans demanding his ouster, against the backdrop of his description of the floods as “a natural disaster that could not be avoided.”

Hammad’s government, through its Minister of Aviation, Hisham Abu Shekiwat, defended the decision to deport journalists and civilians from the stricken city of Derna. Due to allegations of disrupting and obstructing the work of rescue teams.

Hisham said in statements to Reuters that “the issue is organizational, and it is an attempt to create conditions for the rescue teams to carry out the work more smoothly and effectively,” pointing out that the large number of journalists has become confusing for them. But Abu Shekiwat said that the decision had nothing to do with the protests that took place there (Monday night). He added that the journalists “were not asked to leave Derna completely, but rather they only had to leave areas where their presence might hinder rescue operations.” He also denied cutting off communications in Derna, pointing out that technical teams and engineers carried out extensive maintenance of the communications network within the city.

The Telecommunications Holding Company announced the gradual return of communications to the eastern regions, after describing it as a “cable cut,” indicating in a brief statement that work is continuing to restore the rest of the routes.

On the other hand, Al-Dabaiba ordered the Minister of Transportation to schedule, organize and operate free flights for all rescue and emergency teams and volunteers who wish to return to the capital, Tripoli, to work in the stricken areas, and to coordinate the going of all technical teams and volunteers to those areas.

Part of the process of recovering bodies in the city of Derna

The Minister of Local Government and the Head of the Government Emergency and Rapid Response Team, in coordination with the Ministries of Health, Social Affairs, and Education, also called for the formation of a team for social and psychological support, and coordination with the relevant offices and oversight in the affected areas.

Al-Dabaiba offered condolences to the Greek government and the families of the victims of the traffic accident, as a result of which 4 members of the Greek relief team and 3 members of a Libyan family were lost. He also offered condolences to the Benghazi Fazaa Team on the death of 6 of its members, who died as a result of a traffic accident while returning from Derna.

In turn, Abdullah Batili, head of the United Nations mission, said that the Derna disaster could have been avoided if people had been informed in advance and given the correct information. He expressed his hope in television statements (Monday evening) that the results of the investigation conducted by the Libyan authorities into the causes of this disaster would be comprehensive and objective and would define the scope of responsibilities. He continued: “This is a natural disaster, but what about human responsibility in the face of this destruction?”

Meanwhile, the “444th Fighting Brigade”, affiliated with the Dabaiba government, announced the participation of an entire battalion of 400 soldiers in relief, search and rescue work in the city of Derna, pointing out that it would continue to accompany the military units of the “National Army”, recovering bodies, removing rubble, and preserving the safety of those affected. He praised the good reception of his members and the welcome of citizens and members of the “National Army” led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Pictures distributed by the 444th Fighting Brigade in eastern Libya of its members’ participation in the Derna relief effort

The Army Media Division confirmed the continuation of search and rescue operations, the opening of roads and the delivery of aid, food and medical supplies to affected citizens in several areas, in addition to the participation of frogman teams in the search for drowned and lost bodies in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the beaches of the city of Derna.

The Ministry of the Interior of the “Unity” government announced the discovery of its members, 4 sites on the seashore in the affected areas in the city of Derna, noting that 38 bodies had been recovered, some of which were coordinated with the operations room in the city of Derna and coastal security to recover them by sea, due to the difficult terrain.

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