Libya rebels prepare for push on Tripoli: reports
Libya rebel leaders said this weekend that will try to recapture territory on the road to Tripoli, which could put them within striking distance of the capital.
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Meanwhile, during an AU summit, the group called on its member states not to enforce the ICC arrest warrant for Qaddafi, issued because of his forces' brutal crackdown on protests against his rule. The AP reports that the group warned the warrant “seriously complicates” efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Libya, and that the court was discriminatory by focusing on African leaders and ignoring Western abuses.Skip to next paragraph
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The AU also issued a plan for dialogue to end the conflict between the government and the rebels, talks which would reportedly not include Qaddafi himself. AP reports that Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim welcomed the plan and said Qaddafi himself would not participate in the talks. He said he hoped a cease-fire could be reached “in the next few days, or weeks at most.’’
But a rebel leader said the opposition had decided to reject the plan, reports Bloomberg.
That statement appeared to come after a spokesman for the rebels who was at the AU summit in Equatorial Guinea welcomed the plan. “We understood that the spirit of the document is that Gaddafi will not have a role to play in the future of Libya,” Mansour Sayf al Nasr said, reports Reuters.
TIME reports that calls are growing, even from countries within the NATO alliance, for a political end to the conflict in Libya.
Calls for a cease-fire are now coming from key players in the alliance, including Italy (the only country from whose territory air sorties are being flown -- most of the combat missions are flown from the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, which is be rotated out of the theater in September, with no obvious replacement) and Turkey -- on whom the alliance will depend to supply any ground forces needed to police a post-conflict situation. … Fighting on the ground is likely to intensify in the days and weeks ahead, however, if for no other reason than the awareness of the combatants that NATO's timetable may not extend beyond the summer.