Libya: Six Months After the Derna Catastrophe, Amnesty Calls for Inquiry into Accountability for the Tragedy

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

Exactly six months ago, the city of Derna in Libya was inundated by floodwaters following the breach of two dams triggered by Storm Daniel. The toll: over 4,300 deaths, thousands missing, and nearly 45,000 displaced.

On Monday, March 11th, 2024, Amnesty International releases a report on this catastrophe, denouncing the lack of fairness in accessing compensation and urging thorough investigations into the responsibility of powerful military and political actors.

In this report, the NGO delivers a scathing indictment against the Government of National Unity and the Libyan Arab Armed Forces. Amnesty first condemns the inadequacy of warnings and contradictory instructions issued by authorities before the passage of Storm Daniel.

“Some high-ranking officers, including the director of security, urged the population to strictly adhere to the precautionary protocol in force in the city, while in other regions, authorities called for evacuation. Consequently, people were truly bewildered,” explains Bassam al-Kantar, a Libya researcher at Amnesty. He further adds, “And those who evacuated from areas near the sea relocated to places that were the hardest hit.”

While 13,000 individuals affected by the disaster have been compensated, the NGO highlights the lack of fairness in accessing relief and financial compensation. Some families of displaced persons, refugees, and migrants were thus excluded. “They never received any compensation,” rebukes Mr. al-Kantar.

Amnesty’s report underscores the urgent need for accountability and justice in the aftermath of the Derna catastrophe, emphasizing the imperative of equitable assistance and redress for all affected individuals, regardless of their status or background.


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