African Union Hopes To Broker Libya Peace Deal
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Leaders of the African Union are hoping to broker a peace deal in Libya. The group is in eastern Libya today to negotiate with the rebel leadership. They've also met with Moammar Gadhafi, and they say he's agreed to their roadmap to end the fighting with rebels. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has this report from the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
LOURDES GARCIA: One of the names Gadhafi prefers to go by is King of Africa - the modest little title an allusion to the billions of dollars from his country's oil wells he's given to the leaders in the African continent over the years. Those who came here are Gadhafi's old friends, and he put on a show for them.
(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHANTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GARCIA: After several hours of meetings, South African President Jacob Zuma said they had a deal.
JACOB ZUMA: (Through translator) (Unintelligible) have accepted the road map as presented by the (unintelligible) of the AU.
GARCIA: But beyond that, the details were sparse. When asked if among the topics discussed was the key rebel demand that Gadhafi step down, the envoy was vague.
RAMTANE LAMAMRA: Well, to be quite frank with you, there were some discussions between the leaders, and I cannot report on those confidential discussions as a general principle. The African Union considers that it is up to the Libyan people to choose democratically their leaders. It is not up to any outside force.
GARCIA: Gadhafi does seem to have agreed to have some kind of international monitors to oversee any cease-fire - a crucial step, as he has gone back on his cease-fire pledge several times already. Lamamra says international monitors could come from the African Union, the U.N., the Arab League, or any combination of those bodies.
LAMAMRA: The international community will have to stand ready to supply the human resources as well as the assets which are needed to make the mechanism credible.
GARCIA: Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, Tripoli. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.