With growing political unrest and seemingly unending violence in Libya, a hope for peace between Libyan rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces appears to be the stuff of imagination. Determined to restore the nation to a state of order, however, the African Union has prepared a plan for peace that could end the hostility.
The AU, a coalition of representatives from five African countries (South Africa, Mauritania, Mali, Congo-Brazzaville, and Uganda), first developed a peace plan with five main goals in response to the persisting Libyan crisis. With plans to immediately cease fire, deliver humanitarian aid, protect foreign nationals, implement of political reforms and increase dialogue between rebels and the government, AU members approached Gaddafi’s Libyan government with their proposition.
After gaining the government’s acceptance of the peace plan, AU representatives then turned to Benghazi to face the Libyan rebels. Their proposition was met with protests as rebels declared that there will be no peace while Gaddafi remains in power. Despite AU efforts, rebel forces officially rejected the peace plan on Monday, April 11.
“The African Union initiative does not include the departure of Gaddafi and his sons from the Libyan political scene; therefore it is outdated,” rebel Mustafa Abdel Jalil said.
Although many members of NATO approve of the need for political reform as presented in the plan, other members received the ideas with some reserve. AU called for an immediate end to NATO airstrikes, but the latter maintains that such airstrikes are necessary when “credible and verifiable” for the protection of civilians. Any ceasefire, according to UK foreign secretary William Hague, must meet “UN conditions” before commencing.
In the meantime, with only one of the vital parties in agreement with the AU peace plan, NATO has continued a series of air strikes in an attempt to push back Gaddafi forces and stop the attacks on civilians. “A huge amount has been achieved in Libya, but clearly there is more to be done,” Hague said.
The AU continues to hope that the plan will take effect and that Libya will one day see peace.
Sources: BBC News