Conflict & Justice

Gaddafi 'accepts' AU peace plan to end fighting (VIDEO)


Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gestures at his supporters gathered outside his Bab al-Aziziya residence after his meeting with African leaders in Tripoli on April 10, 2011.


Joseph Eid

Muammar Gaddafi has accepted a road map to end the eight-week old conflict in Libya, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said as government troops continued to clash with opposition rebels across the country.

Zuma, who is in Libya as part of an African Union peace delegation, called on NATO to halt air strikes in the wake of the agreement, which will be put to the rebels later Monday.

"We have completed our mission with the brother leader, and the brother leader's delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us," Zuma, speaking in Tripoli, said.

The deal came as NATO planes pounded Gaddafi's forces fighting with rebels for control of Ajdabiya, the last major eastern city before the rebel's stronghold of Benghazi.

Rebel representative Guma al Gamaty told the BBC that the plan would be considered, but any deal that allowed Gaddafi or his family to remain in power would not be accepted.

"There is no other solution than the military solution, because this dictator's language is annihilation, and people who speak this language only understand this language," rebel spokesman Ahmad Bani told Al Jazeera.

Ramtane Lamamra, the AU's Commissioner for Peace and Security, said Gaddafi's exit had been discussed, but insisted that details would remain confidential.

"There was some discussion on this but I cannot report on this. It has to remain confidential," he said, according to Al Jazeera.

"It's up to the Libyan people to choose their leaders democratically."

According to CNN, the proposals included an immediate halt to all fighting; Libya cooperation in delivering humanitarian assistance; the protection of foreign nationals in Libya; and talks aimed at kick starting political reform.

"Leader Muammar Gaddafi expressed his full confidence in the African Union and its ability to successfully carry out the peace process in his country," an AU statement said.

It said any resolution must consider "the aspirations of the Libyan people for democracy, political reform, justice, peace and security, as well as social ... development."

It gave no indication of a timetable for implementing the proposals. Gaddafi has previously agreed a cease-fire while continuing to attack the rebels.

However, it said Gaddafi -- who made his first public appearance for several weeks to greet the AU delegation -- had agreed to the "deployment of an effective and credible monitoring mechanism."

In a weekend of heavy fighting, Libyan rebels -- backed by a barrage of NATO air strikes, said they had recaptured Ajdabiya.

NATO said its forces had destroyed 25 tanks belonging to Gaddafi's forces on Sunday -- 11 were hit near Ajdabiya and 14 were targeted on the outskirts of the besieged western city of Misurata, where heavy fighting also continues.