News / Africa

South Africa, Libya Hold Inconclusive Talks as Officers Defect

South African President Jacob Zuma (C-R) is greeted by Libyan PM Baghdadi al-Mahmudi (front-R) and local tribesmen upon his arrival in Tripoli on May 30, 2011
South African President Jacob Zuma (C-R) is greeted by Libyan PM Baghdadi al-Mahmudi (front-R) and local tribesmen upon his arrival in Tripoli on May 30, 2011

South African President Jacob Zuma made little progress towards brokering a Libya peace deal in talks with leader Moammar Gadhafi as eight army officers became the latest senior figures to break with the Libyan government.

Mr. Zuma told Libyan media in Tripoli Monday that Mr. Gadhafi wants a cease-fire to include an end to NATO bombing, terms already rejected last month after an earlier mediation mission by the South African president. Mr. Zuma also did not say the Libyan leader is ready to step down, the central demand of the rebels', who quickly rejected the latest offer.

Libyan television broadcast footage of Mr. Gadhafi welcoming Mr. Zuma, the Libyan leader's first reported public appearance since May 11.

In April, Mr. Zuma led an African Union delegation to Tripoli with a truce proposal. Mr. Gadhafi said he would accept the terms, but quickly resumed his attacks, while anti-government rebels rejected the cease-fire because it did not include the Libyan leader's exit from power.

Meanwhile, eight top Libyan army officers held a press conference in Rome Monday, claiming they are part of some 120 soldiers who recently defected from Libya.

The appearance by five generals, two colonels and a major was organized by the Italian government.

The men read an appeal to fellow army officers and top police and security officials, urging them to abandon Mr. Gadhafi's government. One of the officers denounced what he said was "genocide" and "violence against women" in various Libyan cities. Another estimated that Mr. Gadhafi's military is now operating at only 20 percent capacity.

Earlier Monday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance's nearly two-month-long campaign of airstrikes in Libya has "seriously degraded" the ability of Mr. Gadhafi's forces to kill their own people. Speaking at a NATO forum in Bulgaria, Rasmussen said Mr. Gadhafi is "increasingly isolated" at home and abroad with close allies "departing, defecting or deserting" the Libyan leader.

NATO forces have been operating under a U.N. Security Council mandate to protect civilians from Mr. Gadhafi's attempts to crush the uprising. Libya's state news agency says NATO airstrikes killed 11 people in the western town of Zlitan on Monday. There was no confirmation from NATO on that report.

Also Monday, an Internet video showed a rare anti-Gadhafi demonstration in Tripoli. In the video, protesters at a funeral were seen chanting "Moammar [Gadhafi] is the enemy of God!" Activists said the video was filmed Monday at the burial for two slain protesters in a suburb of the capital, but this could not be independently confirmed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid