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As death toll in Libya skyrockets, many finger Nato

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Picture: HO / Al-Masar TV / AFP – Footage on social networks by Libyan al-Masar television channel on September 13 shows people walking past a destroyed vehicle walking along a muddy road in the wake of floods after the Mediterranean storm “Daniel” hit Libya’s eastern city of Derna, killing nearly 4,000 people and leaving thousands missing. Military transport aircraft from Middle Eastern and European nations, along with ships, have been ferrying emergency aid to the North African country already scarred by war. The crumbling infrastructure destroyed during the recent cyclone is a result of the illegal destruction of a sovereign state, some say.

By Peoples Dispatch

Latest reports on the devastating floods in Libya confirm 11,300 deaths, with 10,100 still reported missing following the cyclone that hit the city of Derna, destroying two dams. Victims are being buried in mass graves as many lose hope of finding still-missing loved ones.

According to the mayor of Derna, at least 20 percent of the city has been destroyed. The nearby coastal towns of Bayda, al-Marj, Tobruk, and Taknis have also been affected. At least 20,000 people have been displaced. Many are pointing to the crumbling infrastructure in the country as a source of blame.

However, some have criticised Western media coverage of the flooding for omitting the Western role in the destruction of Libyan state structures in 2011, ultimately leading to crumbling infrastructure. “It would be helpful if [the BBC] told the truth about what really happened to Libya,” wrote European Parliament member Mick Wallace on Twitter. “This country was illegally destroyed by Nato in 2011 and the entire region is still suffering from the impact. Sadly those responsible have not been held to account.”

On September 12, US President Joe Biden sent his condolences to the Libyan people. The Barack Obama administration spearheaded the Nato push to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, resulting in the utter destruction of Libya and the creation of, what some deem a “modern-day slave state”. “We join the Libyan people in grieving the loss of too many lives cut short, and send our hope to all those missing loved ones,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

“The US will overthrow your [government], completely destroy your infrastructure, leave your country in a state of violence and instability — then when the consequences come back around 10+ years later, absolve itself of responsibility and only offer thoughts and prayers,” wrote Liberation News editor Amanda Yee.

Libya has been experiencing a political crisis ever since the toppling of Gaddafi’s administration and Nato invasion in 2011. Whilst the UN Support Mission in Libya had promised that through its dialogue efforts elections would be held in December 2021, they have been postponed since then with no clear resolution in sight. The country has been plagued by violence as there are two rival governments backed by opposing militias and military establishments vying for power in the nation.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, a South African social movement of shack dwellers, expressed solidarity with the Libyan people, as well as the Moroccan people who have fallen victim to a devastating earthquake. “In all African countries the rich continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.

“The poor and working class are the ones that build these cities but are left to die like flies,” Abahlali baseMjondolo stated. “The life of the poor does not count at all in a government that is only interested in profit maximisation, whether via capitalist means or political and government corruption. We are angry when the poor and working class perish in the manner in which the people in Morocco and Libya have been killed by the earthquake and the flood.”

This article was first published on Peoples Dispatch