Libya’s rebels said a cease-fire plan proposed by the African Union and agreed to by Muammar Qaddafi won’t be acceptable if it allows the ruler and his sons to retain power.
“We reject any initiative that provides for Qaddafi and his children to stay on,” Abdallah Shamiya, a member of the rebel coalition from the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a phone interview in Benghazi.
The African Union said in an e-mailed statement today that Qaddafi agreed to end hostilities immediately and hold talks “with the view to adopting and implementing the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis.” There was no mention of Qaddafi agreeing to step down. An AU delegation including representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Mauritania, South Africa and Uganda arrived in Benghazi today to meet rebel leaders, after presenting the plan to Qaddafi yesterday.
After almost two months of fighting, troops loyal to Qaddafi and rebels in the North African country, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, have fought to a stalemate, with battles moving back and forth in a small area along the coast, and neither side able to take or hold territory for long.