Authorities in the eastern part of Libya announced on Friday, September 22nd, their plans to host an “international” conference for the reconstruction of the city of Derna, which was devastated by Tropical Storm Daniel and deadly floods. The conference is scheduled for October 10th, but the path to its realization may prove more challenging than anticipated, primarily due to the existence of two rival administrations since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with one based in Tripoli and the other in the east of the country.
The Libyan authorities in the east are eager to expedite the reconstruction of Derna, a city that bore a heavy toll from the floods that struck the region on the night of September 10, 2023. The human cost has been substantial, with the eastern government reporting nearly 3,700 casualties, while some international organizations estimate more than 10,000 victims.
The eastern authorities have, therefore, extended an invitation to the international community, urging its participation in a conference they plan to organize in Derna on October 10th, precisely one month after the devastating catastrophe. The conference aims to present “modern and swift projects for the city’s reconstruction,” as stated in a recent public announcement.
However, a significant challenge looms on the horizon. The rival government in Tripoli, recognized by the international community, has not yet responded. Participation in such a forum convened by an unrecognized Eastern government could pose a diplomatic conundrum for many nations.