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Gaddafi accepts peace road-map but stalemate continues

 

Colonel Gaddafi has accepted a peace proposal by the African Union, after several hours of talks in the Tripoli.

The plan has yet to be approved by the opposition, so the delegation's next stop is rebel-held Benghazi.

Many believe the stalemate will not be resolved unless Gaddafi steps down.

Khalid hasn't spoken with his wife for nearly two months. She is in Misurata - a town in the west, surrounded by Gaddafi's forces. And he is in the east.

"I can't even call my wife! I don't know whether she's alive or dead," says opposition activist Khalid.

The front has been moving in both directions - but what’s become clear is that without NATO's support the rebels don't stand a chance against Gaddafi's superior firepower.

But after anti-government fighters were killed by mistake in NATO air strikes - trust in the alliance was hit as well.

The African Union has sent a top-level delegation to Tripoli, which proposed a road-map for peace.

It calls for an immediate ceasefire and political reform which, surprisingly, Gaddafi has supported.

But even though the road-map includes plans for reform, it’s not clear whether it also calls for Gaddafi and his family to abandon power.

The way the political system in Libya works is that officially Gaddafi is not the head of state. He's more of a formal figure or the moral leader as he likes to call himself. But in reality this man's built a giant power web which is wrapped around business and the government and is built on a circle of chosen people. Those, personally close to Gaddafi and his family.

Earlier Turkey also proposed a peace plan which was rejected by the opposition. Even though it envisaged elections, the deal didn’t rule out Gaddafi's son taking part in them.

"We couldn't agree with the initiative because it didn't guarantee that Gaddafi's entire family would leave. Without that guarantee, there is no point," says Abdel Hafiz Ghoqa, opposition spokesman.

The African Union's delegation is now in the rebel stronghold Benghazi. But if the opposition leadership did pledge to listen to their proposal, it doesn’t seem the rebels are ready to put their guns down.

"How can we live in peace with this bloody tyrant?" says one protester.

With more civilians, rebels, and Gaddafi's troops killed each day, it's clear a ceasefire is needed fast. But unless the latest road-map’s plans involve considerable changes to Libya's political system, this deadlock is unlikely to end anytime soon.

Location

Benghazi
Libya
32° 7' 0.0012" N, 20° 4' 0.0012" E

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