Many members of the international community Tuesday threw their support behind a “roadmap” proposed by the African Union (AU) to restore peace in war-torn Libya but contrary to the expectations of the peacemakers, the rebels have rejected any peace offer that will retain the leader Mhamoud Gaddafi in power.
The proposal to give Au a chance came after several weeks of the organisation was treated with contempt, sidelined as France took initiative through United Nations’ no fly zone order.
Commenting on the proposal, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a member of the AU panel on Libya, said the union was “determined to achieve this goal (ceasefire) to preserve the highest interest of the Libyan people.”
“We are working to find a solution to this complex issue and we are continuing our efforts to overcome this crisis,” he said, adding not a military solution but a peace dialogue should be launched instead to allow for peaceful settlements.
China declared on Tuesday it appreciated the AU’s peace efforts.
“We have noted the diplomatic efforts by the AU mediators in Libya in the recent days and the roadmap they proposed to end the crisis,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing.
Hong also expressed hope that the parties involved in the Libya conflict would reach a ceasefire at an early date and resolve the crisis through such peaceful means as dialogue and negotiation as brought forward by African Union.
But the Au efforts yielded no result as Libyan rebels rejected the road map initiated by the African Union (AU).
The Union had called for ceasefire between the rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, even though the proposals did not include the ouster of the ruling family.
Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the rebels’ Transitional National Council (TNC) and the country’s former justice minister, said the initiative “did not respond to the aspirations of the Libyan people.”
The AU proposal did not discuss Gaddafi’s removal and instead only involved political reforms, he added. The rebels spokesperson also strongly rejected any mediation initiative that could pave the way for Gaddafi’s stay in power.
“Gaddafi and his family must leave Libya”, Abdul-Jalil told a press conference in the opposition’s stronghold of Benghazi whre AU had made representatives of both warring parties. “It ( the African Union’s road map initiative) has already surpassed the time. We know the departure of Gaddafi and his sons is the people’ s demand,” he added.
The African Union’s road map called for an immediate ceasefire, cooperation in opening channels for humanitarian aid and starting a dialogue between the rebels and the government, without mentioning any requirement for troops loyal to Gaddafi to pull back from Brega, Ras Ranuf, and Misrata.
A delegation comprised by leaders from South Africa, Mali and Mauritania arrived in Benghazi Monday to meet with Libyan rebels, trying to broker a ceasefire between the government forces and the militants in Benghazi.
The delegation tried to convince people in Tripoli and Benghazi to stop the war but after four hours of talks, the rebels rejected the terms of the ceasefire deal