Opposition Skeptical Of African Union-Brokered Ceasefire Deal In Libya
As NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports this morning from Tripoli, leaders of the African Union say they've put together a "road map" to end the fighting in Libya — and that Moammar Gadhafi has agreed to their plan.
But The Associated Press writes from Benghazi, Libya, that "opposition supporters protested Monday against a delegation of African leaders who arrived in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi to try to broker a cease-fire with Moammar Gadhafi's regime, saying there can be no peace until the longtime leader gives up power."
The protest came as an African Union delegation arrived in Benghazi to meet with rebel leaders.
The BBC says that "rebels promised to study the plan, but ruled out a truce unless Col Gaddafi stepped down and his forces withdrew."
According to the BBC, the main points of the African Union's proposed deal are:
-- An immediate ceasefire.
-- The unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.
-- Protection of foreign nationals.
-- A dialogue between the government and rebels on a political settlement.
-- The suspension of NATO airstrikes.
Despite the opposition's skepticism, Lourdes reported on Morning Edition that the African Union's attempt to negotiate a ceasefire is a "sign of a new phase" in the conflict — one in which both sides recognize that they cannot win by military means alone and that negotiations need to get going.
Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: Reuters reports that "Libyan rebels rejected an African Union peace plan on Monday because it did not address their main demand that Muammar Gaddafi quit and because it proposed reforming a ruling system they want removed."
[Note: NPR follows AP style on the spelling of Gadhafi's name. Other news outlets use different spellings.] Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.