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UPDATE: Rebels Reject Libya Cease-Fire Agreement

Staff Reporters |
April 10, 2011 | 4:52 p.m. PDT

UPDATED: 10:45 a.m. PDT: Libyan rebels and their Western allies were united in their insistence that an end to the conflict can only occur if Gaddafi steps down from power.  Thus the African Union road map will not be put into practice and airstrikes will continue.

South African President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday that Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gaddafi has agreed to a deal that would end the ongoing conflict in his country. Negotiations between Gaddafi and the African Union Delegation are still under way.

"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 said. "We will be proceeding tomorrow to meet the other party to talk to everybody and present a political solution."

Zuma called on NATO to end airstrikes in Libya  and "give the cease-fire a chance." NATO has been in charge of the no-fly zone and airstrikes in Libya as part of a resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council last month.

It is still unclear what the cease-fire agreement entails, as details have not yet been released yet. However, CNN reported that: "It is believed to include an immediate ceasefire in the nearly two-month long war between Gadhafi's forces and those fighting to unseat him. In his comments, Zuma also discussed an end to NATO airstrikes aimed at enforcing a no-fly zone and targeting Gadhafi's troops.

Voice of America also reported that details of the agreement were unclear, but "opposition leaders have said they will accept nothing less than an end to Mr. Gadhafi's rule, while Libyan officials say he will not step down.

The African Union delegation is expected to head to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Monday to meet with opposition leaders.

There is some uncertainty however, over whether the rebels will accept the AU-brokered cease-fire agreement. According to the Associated Press: "Gadhafi enjoys substantial support from countries of the AU, an organization that he chaired two years ago and helped transform using Libya's oil wealth. So it is not clear whether rebels would accept the AU as a fair broker."



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