Libyan Ceasefire?

Clinton in the Clouds?

According to Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, America “wants a ceasefire in Libya with the forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi pulling back from the areas where they forcibly entered.” There is a yearning on the part of the United States to witness the “Libyan regime forces pull back from the areas that they have forcibly entered,” according to Ms. Clinton. She laid out terms the US considers as “non-negotiable” including: water, electricity and other services to be reinstated; access in Libya to humanitarian aid; removal of Gaddafi from power (and Libya).

All these expectations have been made crystal clear according to Clinton who made these statements at a news conference with Finnish foreign minister Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb. America will wait for the “full briefing” on what was decided by the African Union delegation’s mediation talks with the Gaddafi regime. Unfortunately, as Clinton pointed out, all that’s been witnessed from Gaddafi is a “violent response to the aspirations of his own people, the use of his military assets against his own people.”

Realistic Aspiration?

This is all very well and good but how realistic is Ms. Clinton being? Perhaps not very. Just yesterday Mustafa Abdul Jalil (Libyan rebel leader) rejected an initiative from the African Union for a ceasefire, demanding the expulsion of Gaddafi. At a news conference in rebel-held Benghazi, he said, “this [African Union] initiative has now been surpassed. From the first day the demand of our people has been the ouster of Gaddafi and the fall of his regime.” For their own safety the Gaddafi family must “leave immediately.” But Jalil’s response was likewise firm, claiming there would be no negotiation with “the blood of our martyrs. We will die with them or become victorious and with God’s will we will be victorious.”

Jalil had engaged in talks with leaders from an African delegation the day after Gaddafi had accepted the peace proposal. Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa claimed that Tripoli had “accepted the African Union’s plan for a ceasefire which would halt Nato bombing campaign.”
It doesn’t look like things are going to quiet anytime soon. It was reported that a bunch of burnt-out pick-up trucks that had been fitted with heavy machine guns were seen in Ajdabiya, “for their abortive offensive on the front line between the rebel-held east and the government-held west.”

Horrifically, 35 bodies that had been buried on the town’s outskirts were found to be “charred beyond recognition” as well as an additional two that had been “melted into the vehicles.” With this kind of horror taking place, try as she might Ms. Clinton is a long way from witnessing a ceasefire in war-torn Libya.