Libyan rebels, backed forcefully by European leaders, on April 11 rejected a cease-fire proposal by African mediators because it did not insist that Muammar Qaddafi relinquish power. A day after an announcement that the Libyan leader had accepted the truce, a doctor in rebel-held Misrata said Qaddafi’s forces battered that western city and its Mediterranean port with artillery fire that killed six people.
“He is the biggest lie in the history of Libya,” said Jilal Tajouri, 42, who joined more than 1,000 flag-waving protesters in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi as the African Union delegation arrived. “All the people in Libya agree on this: Qaddafi and all his sons must leave Libya so we can have democracy,” Tajouri said, echoing the opposition of other demonstrators to any deal-making while Qaddafi remains in power.
“Col. Qaddafi and his sons must leave immediately if he wants to save himself. “If not, the people are coming for him,” said Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, a former justice minister who split with Qaddafi and heads the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council. Abdul-Jalil said the African Union proposal “did not respond to the aspirations of the Libyan people” and involved only political reforms.