• World - Africa
  • Updated: September 25, 2023

Libya: Mayor Arrested Over Flood Incident That Saw Thousands Killed

Libya: Mayor Arrested Over Flood Incident That Saw Thousands

Officials said on Monday that the mayor of Derna, a Libyan city devastated by extreme flooding, has been arrested in connection with the disaster.

Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi was one of many officials charged in connection with the disaster that killed thousands earlier this month in eastern Libya.

Angry Derna locals burned down the mayor's residence last week in protest.

The attorney general's office, based in Tripoli, stated on Monday that the officials were "responsible for managing the country's dam facilities" and that a criminal complaint had been filed against them.

Before the trial, some of the officials, including al-Ghaithi, were already detained.

The attorney general's office accused the officials of many failings in a statement issued on Monday, including mismanaging funds meant to maintain the dams that ruptured and triggered the floods in Derna.

His office also stated that the officials were negligent in neglecting to take safeguards, resulting in flood-related deaths and economic damages for Libya.

Al-Ghaithi has also been accused of misusing his power.

Libya has two opposing administrations, one in the east and one in the west. Because the attorney general is situated in Tripoli, in the west, it is unclear how much authority he has to order arrests in the east.

The eastern administration announced on Sunday that the number of confirmed flood deaths had risen to 3,868.

The attorney general's office stated that investigations against other officials were underway and that additional arrests were possible.

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