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Libyan Rebels Gain African Union Favor
September 20, 2011

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The African Union has given a major boost to the international standing of the temporary government in Libya, recognizing the National Transitional Council as the legitimate leadership of the country.

The African Union met in special session to discuss the matter, and the result was announced by South African President Jacob Zuma, a longtime support of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who until recently had held tight reins over his country. The AU recognition follows in the footsteps of 20 countries that have recognized Libya's interim government as the rightful leaders of their country.

Meanwhile, interim prime minister Mahmud Jibril said that his country would have a new formal government in just a few days. The government will be representative of the Libyan people, Jibril said, and that would put the government in clear contrast with the government run by Gadhafi, who came to power in a coup more than 40 years ago and ran his country as virtually a dictator for much of the time since the coup.

After a six-month civil war, Libyan rebels control most of the country, including Tripoli, the capital; but Gadhafi remains at large. Rebel forces have surrounded the city of Sirte, Gadhafi's birthplace. Forces loyal to the colonel are putting up stiff resistance.

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