13 April 2011
The African Union (AU) is determined to negotiate a ceasefire in Libya, says Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a member of the AU panel on Libya, despite continuing clashes between pro-Gaddafi forces and rebels in the north African country.
“We are determined to achieve this goal to preserve the highest interest of the Libyan people,” Ould Abdel Aziz said following discussions between the AU panel and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Monday.
South African President Jacob Zuma, also a member of the panel, had returned to South Africa on Monday following Sunday’s meeting with Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli.
Other members of the panel – including AU Commission president Jean Ping, Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure – stayed on to travel to rebel-held Benghazi, 1 000km east of Tripoli.
Gaddafi ‘has accepted AU roadmap’: Zuma
Speaking in Pretoria on Monday, Zuma said Gaddafi had accepted a roadmap for ending the political conflict. The roadmap calls for an immediate cease-fire and opening a political dialogue between the rebels and the government.
“Only an inclusive dialogue among the Libyan parties on the appropriate reforms will ensure a lasting solution in Libya,” Zuma said. “South Africa, as a member of the panel, is very happy with the outcome of the meeting.”
Among the proposals made by the AU Peace and Security Council were:
- An immediate end to all hostilities.
- The cooperation of the Libyan authorities in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Libyans in need.
- The protection of foreign nationals, including African migrants living in Libya.
- The adoption and implementation of the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis.