Rebels relent: Gaddafi can stay in Libya

Muammar Gaddafi can live out his retirement in Libya if he surrenders all power, the country’s opposition leader has said.

Gaddafi is facing an international arrest warrant and has resisted all demands to step down, but members of his inner circle have indicated they are ready to negotiate with the rebels, including on the Libyan leader’s future.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the rebels’ national transitional council, told Reuters: “As a peaceful solution we offered that he can resign and order his soldiers to withdraw from their barracks and positions, and then he can decide either to stay in Libya or abroad.

“If he desires to stay in Libya, we will determine the place and it will be under international supervision. And there will be international supervision of all his movements.”

Speaking in the rebels’ eastern Libyan stronghold of Benghazi, Jalil, who was formerly Gaddafi’s justice minister, said he made the proposal about a month ago through the UN but had yet to receive any response from Tripoli.


He said one suggestion was that Gaddafi could spend his retirement under guard in a military barracks.

The Libyan government has repeatedly insisted that Gaddafi is a symbolic figurehead who has no involvement in the day-to-day running of the country. The regime’s spokesperson, Moussa Ibrahim, said it was willing to “set down in writing” that Gaddafi would have no political or military powers under a new constitution.

Asked if this would leave Gaddafi’s role comparable to that of the queen in the United Kingdom, Ibrahim added: “Maybe for the sake of argument, something like that.”

‘Who is more democratic, us or the rebels?’
But pressed on the latest concession by Jalil he was dismissive, saying that any such decisions should be left to the Libyan people.

“What we are doing is legally and morally and politically far more convincing,” he said. “We are saying Libyans should decide for everyone on the position of the leader. Now who is more democratic, us or the rebels?”

Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha has said her father would be prepared to cut a deal with the rebels though he would not leave the country, and his son, Saif al-Islam, said the leader would step down if that was the will of the Libyan people.

Turkey, which had close economic ties to Gaddafi before the uprising, has pledged $200-million in aid for the rebels in addition to the $100-million it announced in June.

“Public demand for reforms should be answered, Gaddafi should go and Libya shouldn’t be divided,” Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters in Benghazi, adding that he saw the rebel council as the “legitimate representative” of the people.

The conflict in Libya is close to deadlock, with rebels on three fronts unable to make a decisive advance towards Tripoli and growing strains inside Nato about the cost of the operation and lack of a military breakthrough. – guardian.co.uk

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

UN Libya rights probe stalled due to cashflow problems

The UN is currently going through a serious liquidity crisis because many countries have not paid their annual dues, and it is therefore unable to fulfil all its mandates

Time is not on our side in Libya

Simmering tensions could see the country partitioned between east and west

Life in the time of coronavirus

Self-diagnosis and symptoms are recipe for paranoia — just see the doc, take the meds and Bob’s your uncle

Soleimani air strike: Why this is a dangerous escalation of US assassination policy

The Trump administration is only the latest to push the boundaries of the law to take out foreign adversaries

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Khaya Sithole: Tsakani Maluleke’s example – and challenge

Shattering the glass ceiling is not enough, the new auditor general must make ‘live’ audits the norm here in SA

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.

‘Veteran’s stripes’ vs ‘kind and fair’

This weekend the Democratic Alliance will choose between two starkly different visions for its future
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday