Home | News    Monday 4 July 2011

AU peace plan to gather Libyan Govt, rebel representatives in Ethiopia

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 3, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – The embattled Libyan government and opposition representatives will soon meet in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for talks as part of African Union efforts to reach a ceasefire and political solution to the crisis in Libya, where conflict has entered a fourth month.

The meeting was disclosed at an African Union summit held in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea.

However the talks in Addis Ababa will be held without the presence of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) along with his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi.

The AU summit in Malabo urged member nations not to cooperate with the ICC issued arrest warrant saying it undermines and seriously complicates the ongoing peace efforts by the African Union to the Libyan crisis.

The decision taken by the 53-member pan African body - to disregard the ICC arrest warrant - was highly welcomed by Libyan officials.

“The ICC is a European Guantanamo Bay. It’s only against the African leaders. It never deals with the crimes committed by the United States of America and by the European powers everywhere in the world”, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told the press.

Since March NATO has been launching air strikes as part of a UN mandate to protect civilians. However NATO is being accused of exceeding this and has been accused by Tripoli of killing civilians including children.

Now France is also under-fire with broad accusations of arming Libyan rebels by dropping weapons off planes - in violation of the UN resolution.

Addressing to thousands of his supporters gathered at the main Green Square in the capital Tripoli, Libyan Leader, Gaddafi on Friday threatened to carry out attacks in Europe if NATO does not stop its airstrikes.

Rebels took up arms against Gaddafi’s four months ago following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and against authoritarian regimes.