Rebels have rejected the results of fresh mediation efforts to end the conflict in Libya with Muammar Gaddafi giving no sign he is ready to step down.
South African President Jacob Zuma said the Libyan leader, making his first appearance on television since May 11, would agree to a ceasefire. But only his departure will satisfy NATO and rebels who dismissed the renewed ceasefire call out of hand.
“The discourse now of the international community in general has been changed,” said Libyan rebel Foreign Minister Fathi Baja. “Now they are talking about political initiatives. Now they are talking about, most of them, about taking some steps for Gaddafi’s leaving and this is really, for us, some kind of a change.”
This could be a reference to Russia’s new, tougher stance on Libya. It, too, is now calling for Colonel Gaddafi to give up power.
Within hours of Jacob Zuma leaving Libya, state television reported that NATO aircraft had resumed attacks, with Tripoli among the targets.