Libya rebels reject African Union roadmap

Libyan rebels reject African Union peace plan, calling on Gaddafi to step down and be tried for crimes against humanity.

By REUTERS
July 3, 2011 15:44
1 minute read.
Libyan soldier

Libyan soldier 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Surrounded by the broken tools of war, these rebel fighters spend their days fixing weaponry in an old shop in Benghazi.

With few resources, nothing is wasted or thrown away.

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Many here describe the repairmen as the civil war's unsung heroes.

The director of the weaspons maintenance shop said, "I swear to God that those people become anonymous fighters, nobody knows about their role and you can say that fighters will stumble if those people were absent."

On Friday AU leaders said they were willing to host talks and ease the country's transition to democracy, but they oppose the international arrest issued against Gaddafi opening the possibility that he could go into exile in one of the African Union's 53 nations.

The rebels' National Transition Council rejects the union's roadmap because it doesn't include Muammar Gaddafi's exit from power.

Spokesman for the National Transitional Council in Libya, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said, "As long as the African proposal does not include a clear clause stating Gaddafi will step down and will resign all his duties, we will not approve it because it does not satisfy the demands of our revolution. This is very clear."

The embattled government's spokesman reiterated on Saturday that Gaddafi supported the AU's plan, but only if NATO forces stop targeting his forces with air-strikes.

Libyan government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim said, "We have been saying for months now that we will talk to all parties and we will sit down to find a peaceful resolution or solution for this crisis. Finally it seems that other parties are coming to our position, which is very productive, although it's quite late now with all deaths and martyrs and the suffering and pain that the Libyan nation has been taking on for months now."

The rebels say as long as Gaddafi is in power, they will continue driving closer to his stronghold in Tripoli.

The rebels, who are only 80 km from the capital, were forced to a halt by rocket fire on Friday.

Despite the slow pace, the rebels deny the five-month struggle has reached a stalemate.

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