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Libyan Opposition Leader Rejects Truce Offer

  • James Butty

Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from a video by Libyan TV released May 11, 2011.

Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from a video by Libyan TV released May 11, 2011.

Hadi Shalluf of the Justice and Democracy Party of Libya says the only thing acceptable to the opposition is for Gadhafi to face the ICC

A Libyan opposition leader says the opposition will not accept any offer of a ceasefire from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

This comes after Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi Sunday offered a truce to visiting U.N. envoy Abdullah al-Khatib in return for an end to NATO bombing.

Hadi Shalluf, president of the Justice and Democracy Party of Libya says the only thing that would be acceptable to the opposition is for Colonel Gadhafi to face the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

“We will never accept any offer (of ceasefire) from Gadhafi. The only thing that will be acceptable is for Gadhafi to face either a judge in Libya or the International Criminal Court. The Libyan people will never accept any offer from Gadhafi,” he says.

Mahmoudi also reportedly said his government is committed to the unity of all Libyans and that only Libyans should decide on their internal affairs and political system through democratic dialogue “away from the [NATO] bombing threat.”

But, Shalluf says Mahmoudi and Gadhafi no longer have credibility with Libyans.

“We do not recognize them as prime minister [and leader]. They have no legitimacy, the prime minister, or Gadhafi, or anyone working with Gadhafi,” Shalluf says.

Libya's state television reported Sunday that a new NATO airstrike hit the western city of Zuwara near the Tunisian border.

Meanwhile, the head of Britain's armed forces, General David Richards, urged NATO to consider intensifying its bombing; otherwise, he says, the Libyan conflict could result in Gadhafi clinging to power.

Shalluf says the Libyan opposition welcomes Richards’ statement. He says pro-Gadhafi forces are to be blamed for civilian casualties.

“We are asking [for] more intensive attacks against Gadhafi and his troops. We are asking NATO to go ahead to attack more and more, and they [the attacks] should be stronger than what they are right now,” Shalluf says.

In another development, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said Sunday that his investigation into crimes against humanity by senior members of the Libyan government is "almost ready for trial."

Moreno-Ocampo said he will file a 74-page document outlining allegations that Libyan forces have systematically attacked civilians since launching a brutal crackdown on anti-government rebels in February.

Shalluf says Gadhafi and his sons should be “number one” on the ICC list of individuals to face charges.

“Gadhafi will be number one because the list by [the U.N.] Security Council concerning the situation in Libya, Resolution 1970, mentioned Gadhafi and the sons of Gadhafi. He is accused by committing crimes against humanity and also war crimes,” he says.

Shalluf says the Libyan opposition is pleased with the outcome of the recent visit by members of the Transitional National Council to the United States and Europe.

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