North Africa

REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - Un hombre camina cerca de la Mezquita de Tinmel, que fue dañada por el mortal terremoto, en Tinmel, Marruecos, el 11 de septiembre de 2023
REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - A man walks near the Tinmel Mosque, which was damaged by the deadly earthquake, in Tinmel, Morocco, September 11, 2023

These are times of tragedy and desolation for the inhabitants of North African countries.

Natural catastrophes that strike hard and take the lives of thousands of people and leave many thousands more homeless. Hard, unjust, inexplicable moments. What have we done to deserve this? The reaction of the stricken society itself is fundamental to face the first moments of pain, emptiness, confusion, need or depression after the loss of loved ones, eagerness and anguish in the search among the rubble for possible survivors and a new slap of harsh reality for those who have been left alone in the world and have lost everything and do not even have a place to sleep. 

Mother Nature mercilessly reminds us of the vulnerability of a proud human being who, in these times of new technologies, digitalisation and the new race to conquer space, is tempted to consider himself invincible and capable of anything. This attitude can happen more on the opposite shore. In a developed Europe, suffering from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and in the south, besieged by floods, drought and fires. The immediate effects do not have the same consequences on either side, but in the very near future, we will all be affected, in one way or another. 

In Libya, the lesson taught relentlessly by nature and common sense is that not everything goes. The vacuum in the fulfilment of public responsibilities as a failed state in a constant war for power and control of oil caused, due to lack of maintenance and repair, the bursting of two dams with a deadly flood for thousands of people. The picture is horrifying, terrifying. No one takes responsibility. Neither the warlords at loggerheads, nor the Europeans who overthrew Gaddafi and abandoned the country to its fate, nor the international institutions incapable of making those in power impose peace. The mafias that traffic in everything continue to take advantage. 

In Morocco, the earthquake has destroyed villages in the High Atlas and affected the oldest part of the medina in Marrakech. A week later, a plan to rebuild 50,000 homes is already underway, promoted by King Mohammed VI, who has donated 100 million euros to help the victims, who have also received food, medicine and blood.

In Tunisia, President Saied's confrontation with the Islamist Ennahda has provoked a general crisis that in recent months has pushed thousands of people to emigrate to the Italian island of Lampedusa. The crisis in Algeria is driving those who dare to try to overcome the police controls imposed by the military regime that controls the country to emigrate.