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Middle East Roundup: Disaster in North Africa – Morocco Quake, Libya Floods

Morocco’s deadly quake, Libya’s deadly floods, 30 years since Oslo Accords – here’s the Middle East this week.

In the ruins of the Moroccan town of Tnirte, a Spanish rescue team is sending its sniffer dogs home. The dogs, explains a team member, can only smell the living.

North Africa is reeling from environmental disasters, the first was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that devastated the Atlas Mountains region around Marrakesh, Morocco.

Whole families were lost to the quake, especially in rural areas. Ahcan Ait Majid, a 70-year-old shepherd, lost his wife of 50 years and two sons as a result of the tremors.

“I’ve never known anything like this,” he told Al Jazeera. “I don’t know what I will do now.”

Morocco has been criticised for accepting only a few offers to help, despite many offers by the international community. An offer of help was extended by Algeria, whose people have shown an outpouring of support despite a diplomatic chill between the countries.

Storm Daniel wipes out Libya’s east

In Libya, countless bodies have been washed out to sea around the eastern port city of Derna, an area pummelled by Storm Daniel, causing the collapse of two dams.

The numbers are staggering: more than 6,000 dead, 10,000 missing, 30,000 displaced, while people race to bury hundreds in mass graves.

Satellite imagery shows the extent of the disaster, which in Derna was exacerbated by poor maintenance and infrastructure, says Deputy Mayor Ahmed Madroud.

Oslo Accords, 30 years later

Thirty years ago, Israeli and Palestinian leaders met on the lawn of the White House in Washington to sign a deal many thought was a precursor to peace in the region.

But the Oslo Accords – which earned its architects the Nobel Peace Prize – have accomplished nothing of the sort.

Critics say it was “inherently designed” to serve Israel’s economic and security dominance over Palestinians. Yara Hawari further argues that Palestinian authoritarianism has its roots in the accords.

Source : Aljazeera