Saif Gaddafi: Derna dam collapse is due to state absence since 2011

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, stated that the collapse of the Derna Dam, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and the destruction of the city, was caused by “the absence of a state in Libya and the chaos that has engulfed the country since 2011.”

He added that what happened in Derna, where the dam was built in the 1970s during his father’s rule, reflects the lack of state institutions and the absence of specialists and supervisors responsible for monitoring and maintaining the dam to report any emergencies and take disaster preparedness measures, as was the case before 2011.

In a fiery statement released on Friday, Gaddafi’s son criticised the successive executive authorities in the country since 2011, stating that the Libyan people “are paying the price for a frivolous childish conflict between scattered governments here and there, symbolic and fictitious governments with no purpose other than ill-gotten gains,” as he put it.

He talked about the disappearance of budgets allocated for the Derna Dam and all dams in the country after 2011, estimated in the hundreds of millions. He pointed out that what exacerbated the disaster in Derna was the security authorities that instructed residents not to leave their homes and the absence of authorities taking the correct actions such as warning and evacuating the population.

Saif al-Islam warned against the theft of the budget that would be allocated for the reconstruction of Derna, saying that “the entities that failed to spend the promised 2 billion to rebuild Derna two years ago as a result of its destruction will not be able to spend the current promised 10 billion for the city.”

“I assure you that the problem of displaced people will not be solved, and Derna will not be rebuilt, and its dam, which was built 50 years ago, will not be reconstructed. It is like Benghazi, Sirte, Tawergha, and South Tripoli, all of them destroyed and have not been rebuilt despite false promises.” He added.

Libyan officials have faced significant criticism from citizens, especially the people of Derna, who staged protests against the current political entities a week ago, demanding accountability. This is due to the failure to implement a project for the dam’s repair and maintenance for years, despite studies warning of the possibility of its collapse.

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