Libya Rebels Skunk AU Peace Plan

African Union proposal would have left Gadhafi in power
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2011 8:04 AM CDT
Libya Rebels Skunk AU Peace Plan
South Africa President Jacob Zuma, left, meets with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli yesterday to present a peace proposal. However, Gadhafi and the rebels appear to be no closer to peace.   (AP Photo/HO-GCIS)

Despite a sudden rush of defections from Moammar Gadhafi's forces, with five generals and up to 120 officers joining the rebels in recent days, the latest push for a peace agreement by South Africa's president appears to be dead on arrival, reports the LA Times. Jacob Zuma met with Gadhafi yesterday to present a peace proposal by the African Union, a "road map" for ending hostilities that did not require Gadhafi relinquish power.

Gadhafi was reportedly receptive to the proposal, but rebels have rejected it for not requiring that he step down. With NATO threatening to step up its bombing campaign against Gadhafi, there was much anticipation about how he would receive the proposal, especially in light of the most recent round of high-profile defections. "Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting," said NATO's secretary-general. But Gadhafi remains adamant that any agreement keep him in power. (More Libya stories.)

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