By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 21 March 2014:
Derna Local Council is still waiting for LD 1.5 million of its 2013 budget, as . . .[restrict]financial woes add to security problems already faced by a council trying to operate in what is viewed as one of the country’s most dangerous towns.
“Our budget was less than LD 4 million this year but we have received just LD 2.5 million,” a council official told the Libya Herald. “We have no money and no authority.”
The government also recently promised LD 250 million to the town, as an emergency fund to support development, he said, but this has not been forthcoming. “We haven’t seen any of it.”
The emergency funds are the latest in empty government promises to Derna, after it failed to produce the security needed for the town to hold its elections for the Constitutional Assembly.
Despite promises of 52,000 police and military forces on the ground to ensure elections could be safely held across the country, no security arrived in Derna. The night before the elections, five polling stations were bombed and another that did open was forced to close by an armed man.
The government then also failed to send any security support to the town in its second attempt at holding the vote a week later. “There was no sign of any security around the time of the elections,” the council official said. “The government lied to us.”
The security situation and the lack of job opportunities means that young people leave the town to seek work in Libya’s more prosperous towns, the council official said. Even some local families are having second thoughts about their future in the town, with an estimated 400 homes either on the market or soon being put up for sale.
Without much-needed additional funding to improve security and opportunities for development, the future of Derna, once cited as one of the most beautiful towns in the country, continues to look bleak. [/restrict]