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Rebels say Gaddafi must go or no truce

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-29

Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil on Monday turned down an African Union intiative to end bitter fighting between troops loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and rebel forces, saying the leader and his sons must leave power first.

AFP - Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil on Monday rejected an African Union initiative for a ceasefire with the forces of Moamer Kadhafi and demanded the ouster of the veteran strongman.

"This (African Union) initiative has now been surpassed. From the first day the demand of our people has been the ouster of Kadhafi and the fall of his regime," Abdul Jalil said at a news conference in rebel-held Benghazi.

"Kadhafi and his sons must leave immediately if they want to be safe... Any initiative that does not include the people's demand, the popular demand, essential demand, we cannot possibly recognise."

Abdul Jalil refused any kind of mediation which would allow Kadhafi to stay and lashed out at the strongman.

"We cannot negotiate with the blood of our matryrs. We will die with them or become victorious and with God's will we will be victorious," the rebel leader said.

Abdul Jalil said the African Union's initiative "matches the UN Security Council calls for a ceasefire and the protection of civilians and leaving the Libyan people free to decide their future."

"This initiative that was presented today had been decided upon since March 10. A month has passed... during this long time Colonel Moamer Kadhafi did not respect these decisions, he bombed civilians with planes, missiles and rockets. He besieged cities with his forces. He placed security forces in civilian clothes inside city limits."

"The Libyan people cannot decide their fate with them... for a whole month he ignored the UN Security Council resolution, and you know exactly how many people were killed during that time."

Jalili's remarks came after talks with a delegation of African heads of state in Benghazi on Monday, a day after Kadhafi accepted the peace proposal.

South African President Jacob Zuma said Tripoli had accepted the African Union's plan for a ceasefire which would halt NATO bombing campaign.

"We also in this communique are making a call on NATO to cease the bombings to allow and to give a ceasefire a chance," Zuma stressed.

Date created : 2011-04-11

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