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South Africa calls for ceasefire in Libya amid more Nato airstrikes

Reuters/Ntswe Mokoena

South Africa’s Foreign Minister has called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya one day after talks between President Jacob Zuma and Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said a ceasefire would “encourage the warring parties to begin a dialogue to a democratic transition”. 

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Speaking after talks with Kadhafi on Monday, Zuma said the Libyan leader was ready to implement the road map put forward by the African Union. But he failed to mention the key obstacle to finding a solution to the crisis - Kadhafi’s departure.

The rebel National Transitional Council, which has renamed their armed forces the National Liberation Army, NLA, insists it will not accept a settlement that allows Kadhafi to stay in power.

Meanwhile, Libyan state television reported fresh Nato airstrikes overnight Monday and Tuesday morning on targets in Tripoli, the suburb of Tajura and Al-Jafra, a city to the south of the capital.

Zuma has already said that Nato raids are undermining African mediation efforts

At a meeting of Nato’s parliamentary assembly in Bulgaria, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted that Kadhafi’s reign of terror was coming to an end.

“He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad,” he said. “Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting.”

His comments come as five generals, two colonels and a major announced on Monday they had defected from Kadhafi’s forces and that the regime’s army was only operating at 20 per cent capacity.

General Oun Ali Oun said he and his fellow officers condemned "the crimes against our own people, genocide, and everything we have seen."

On Friday, a group of Libyan soldiers, including several senior officers, arrived by sea in Tunisia, according to TAP, the Tunisian official news agency.

 

 

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