Gaddafi accepts peace plan, rebels say he must go | Pakistan Today

Gaddafi accepts peace plan, rebels say he must go

BENGHAZI – Muammar Gaddafi accepted an African Union (AU) plan to end the Libyan civil war but rebels on Monday said there could be no deal unless he leaves power, and there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting. Rebels in the besieged western city of Misrata told Reuters Gaddafi’s forces fired Russian-made Grad rockets into the city, while insurgents in eastern Libya were preparing to advance. South African President Jacob Zuma, head of an AU peace mission, said Gaddafi had accepted a peace “road map”, including a ceasefire, after talks in Tripoli.
A spokesman in the rebel capital of Benghazi said the opposition would look at the plan but Gaddafi must end his 41-year rule. “The Libyan people have made it very clear that Gaddafi must step down, but we will consider the proposal once we have more details, and respond,” spokesman Mustafa Gheriani told Reuters. Libyan officials have repeatedly said Gaddafi, who holds no official state position, will not quit. The AU delegation went to Benghazi to confer with rebel leaders on Monday and were met by more than 1,000 demonstrators holding banners reading, “Free us from Gaddafi” and “Gaddafi has committed genocide”.
NATO, which is bombing Libyan government armour under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians, issued a non-committal response to Zuma’s appeal for the allies to stop airstrikes “to give the ceasefire a chance”.
NATO, which has denounced attacks by Libya’s forces on civilian areas, said only that it took note of the AU proposal. It said it had always made clear there could not be a purely military solution to the civil war, which broke out when Gaddafi crushed pro-democracy protests in February. The NATO statement did not address Zuma’s call for a bombing pause.
An African Union statement said the AU peace plan called for “dialogue between the Libyan parties and the establishment of an inclusive transition period, with the view to adopting and implementing the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis.”

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