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Rebels Reject Truce That Keeps Gadhafi in Power
April 11, 2011

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Now it's the rebels' turn to keep fighting.

A day after the Libyan government announced that Col. Moammar Gadhafi had accepted the terms of a truce as brokered by other African leaders, the rebels opposing Gadhafi's continued rule rejected the agreement, saying that his removal was a precondition of any agreement that they might make. The truce, put forward by South African President Jacob Zuma on behalf of the African Union, was supported by the leaders of Mali, Mauritania, the Republic of Congo, and Uganda. The rebels noted that three of those five (Mali, Mauritania, and the Republic of Congo) had come to power via a coup.

Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, reiterated his country's call for Gadhafi's removal. Officials at NATO, the organization now running the no-fly zone and airstrikes missions, welcomed any political decision that avoided more bloodshed. Several world leaders have commented in recent days that a military solution seemed further and further away, despite hundreds and hundreds of airstrikes against Gadhafi's troops and positions in the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi's most well-known son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, went on television and called for an end to allied airstrikes and a renewal of peace initiatives. The younger Gadhafi said that his father's government was open to discussing democratic reforms but only if the fighting stopped and that even if his father left, that alone would not solve the problem.

Even as the government was announcing its satisfaction with the truce, its forces were continuing to shell the city of Misrata, according to the rebels who controlled the town. Misrata, according to rebels the target of heavy weapons and rocket fire, is the only western Libya city still controlled by rebels.



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