[Debate] Libyan Rebels Reject Qaddafi's Offer to Talk
critical.montages at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 15:55:59 BST 2011
Here's the Libyan rebels' latest rejection of the AU approach of
ceasefire, negotiated transition, and democratic elections. As long
as the NATO is backing the rebels, there's no material incentive for
them to agree to any such approach, since they believe that they can
win by force alone.
Libyan Rebels Reject Qaddafi's Offer to Talk
Published August 28, 2011 | Associated Press
Libyan rebels on Sunday rejected an offer by Muammar Qaddafi to
negotiate and said they have captured the eastern town of Bin Jawwad,
forcing regime loyalists to flee after days of fighting.
With his regime crumbling, Qaddafi is on the run, but his chief
spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told The Associated Press the Libyan leader
is still in Libya. As the call for negotiations came, new signs
emerged of arbitrary killings of detainees and civilians by Qaddafi
forces during the rebels' push into Tripoli earlier this week,
including some 50 charred corpses at a regime lockup.
The rebels dismissed Qaddafi's proposal, relayed by Ibrahim by phone,
to have his son al-Saadi lead talks on a transitional government as
"I would like to state very clearly, we don't recognize them. We are
looking at them as criminals. We are going to arrest them very soon,"
Mahmoud Shammam, the information minister in the rebels' transitional
government, told a news conference. "Talking about negotiations is a
daydream for what remains of the dictatorship."
In London Sunday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague also
dismissed the offer, saying the National Transitional Council was
already in charge of the country and that Qaddafi should call on his
supporters to stop fighting.
"I referred a few days ago to Col. Qaddafi making delusional
statements and this is another one of them," Hague told the BBC.
The rebels control most of Libya, including Tripoli, but are
struggling to alleviate shortages of water, fuel and electricity in
the capital. Usama el-Abed, the deputy leader of the new city council,
said between 60 and 70 percent of the residents don't have enough
water, but that the shortages are due to technical problems, not
sabotage by regime forces.
The U.N. is preparing to ship in baby food, bottled water and
medicine. World Health Organization officials are on Malta, some 350
kilometers (225 miles) north of Tripoli, to prepare the aid shipments,
which are expected to leave for Libya in the next few days.
In one small attempt at returning to normal, a traffic policeman in a
white uniform was on duty Sunday in an eastern neighborhood of
Tripoli. "Today is the first day that we started working. Things are
under control and running smoothly," said traffic cop Abu Bakr
Some 1,000 Egyptians, Jordanians and Filipinos boarded a passenger
ferry in Tripoli's port Sunday to escape instability and shortages.
Most people said they plan to return to their jobs in Libya once the
situation calmed down.
Before the outbreak of fighting, large numbers of foreign workers --
some estimates go as high as 2.5 million -- were employed in oil-rich
Libya, though hundreds of thousands already fled.
In Sunday's fighting, rebels threatened to advance on the coastal road
toward Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte if tribal leaders there don't agree
Mohammed al-Rajali, a spokesman, said rebel forces captured Bin
Jawwad, about 350 miles east of Tripoli, late Saturday and deployed
forces in the city after days of fighting. He said Qaddafi's forces
fled westward, likely to join regime forces in Sirte, the headquarters
of Qaddafi's tribe and his last major bastion of support.
Sirte has been heavily targeted by NATO airsrikes.
On Sunday, an AP reporter found some 50 charred corpses in a makeshift
lockup near a military base that had been run by the Khamis Brigade,
an elite unit commanded by Qaddafi's son, Khamis.
Mabrouk Abdullah, who said he survived a massacre at the site by
Qaddafi's forces, told The Associated Press that on Tuesday guards
opened fired at some 130 civilian detainees in the lockup, a hangar,
and fired again when prisoners tried to flee.
Abdullah said he had been crouching along a wall and was shot in his
side, lifting his shirt to show his injury.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said Sunday it has gathered evidence
indicating that Qaddafi loyalists killed at least 17 detainees and
arbitrarily executed dozens of civilians as rebels moved into Tripoli.
AP reporters have also witnessed abuse of wounded Qaddafi fighters by
rebels and their supporters. Earlier this week, eight injured men were
abandoned in a bombed out fire house in the Abu Salim neighborhood,
some pleading for water, but residents and rebels made no effort to
However, in many other instances, Qaddafi fighters were treated side
by side with rebels in rebel-controlled hospitals.
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