In the early hours of 11 September, a devastating storm overwhelmed two poorly-maintained dams near Libya’s eastern city of Derna, triggering massive floods that swept much of the city into the sea. The catastrophic floods left at least 4,000 people dead, with around 10,000 more missing and over 40,000 displaced.
The wide-scale destruction and subsequent humanitarian crisis could have been an opportunity to unite opposing authorities in the wake of a national tragedy. Instead, they have only served to highlight the deep-rooted divisions between the country’s two rival leaderships. One is the internationally recognized Government of National Unity (GNU), based in the western capital of Tripoli and led by Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibeh (MEES, 12 March 2021); the other is the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), led by commander Khalifa Haftar, who rules the east of the country out of Benghazi. (CONTINUED - 1839 WORDS)