The rebel leadership in East Libya announced Monday that it is rejecting an African Union call for a ceasefire and negotiation with the Gadhafi regime in western Libya. The AU delegation had been met with cheers at Benghazi’s airport, but left in failure.
The leadership says they cannot possibly accept any deal which does not include the immediate ouster of Moammar Gadhafi and his entire family from Libya. The AU deal did not, but had been agreed to by Gadhafi already.
The rejection means that the civil war in Libya continues, and Gadhafi forces are continuing to attempt to conquer the city of Ajdabiyah, one of the last strongholds before reaching Benghazi. Neither side has been able to reach the other’s capital city since fighting began in earnest, but are rather trading control over central cities.
The African Union’s deal appeared to be an attempt to recognize the reality of the stalemate and move toward talks on a partition of Libya between east and west. Though the rebels do have NATO’s air campaign on their side, it does not appear that they have the military might to conquer the west, and have stalled every time they reach Gadhafi’s homeland.