Fighting has continued across Libya illustrating the failure of the African Union’s attempt to get both sides to agree to a ceasefire.
Libyan rebels said the increasingly bloody siege of the city of Misrata by pro-Gaddafi troops made talk of a halt in the fighting meaningless. A spokesperson spelled out their objections:
“As we understood from the African delegation, the proposal had been submitted on March 10 in Addis Ababa and did not include the resignation of Gaddafi and his regime. On the other hand, it included some sort of reforms in Gaddafi’s regime, which the Libyan people completely reject,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghouga of the National Transition Council.
But sensing the West has little appetite for a long drawn out affair, Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said his side was willing to cooperate, within limits.
“If the West wants democracy, elections and things, this is the programme we announced a long time ago and out of choice. We are all agreed on this point but the West must help us to provide the right climate.”
Meanwhile pro-Gaddafi forces who are surrounding Misrata are making conditions in the city unbearable for civilians. The Red Cross says it hopes to send in a team to help those trapped by the fighting, but a government minister warned that any aid operation involving foreign troops would be seen as a declaration of war.