An African Union delegation led by South African president Jacob Zuma is seeking to get Libya's government and rebel forces to sit down and engage in peace talks, reports Reuters. The group, which also features the leaders of Mauritania, Congo, Mali and Uganda, is set to meet with Moammar Qaddafi in Tripoli today, followed by a meeting with rebel leaders in Benghazi. Western forces do not believe that they can provide enough support for the rebels and that a political solution is necessary.
Despite this, rebels reject the idea of reaching a peace agreement with Qaddafi. "There is no other solution than the military solution, because this dictator's language is annihilation, and people who speak this language only understand this language," Ahmad Bani, a rebel spokesman, told al Jazeera television.
Meanwhile, fighting continues for a second day in the eastern town Ajdabiyah. Sunday saw government forces attack the city with artillery shells and rockets. The desolate town is an important target for Qaddafi's forces, after becoming a center for rebels during the fight for the oil port of Brega. It is also a key gateway to the rebels stronghold in Benghazi, which is 100 miles north.
A Libyan official is also claiming that Qaddafi forces shot down two U.S.-built helicopters that were being used by the rebels. Khaled Kaim, Libya's deputy foreign minister, said that the aircrafts were shot down over Brega and accused NATO of failing to enforce the no-fly zone against the rebels. "We have a question for the allied forces - is this resolution made for the Libyan government only or everyone in Libya?" said Kaim. A NATO said that the no-fly zone is being enforced against both sides.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.