Libyan rebels rejected Sunday an African Union (AU) peace plan to end the ongoing conflicts in the North African country, insisting that any settlement should be based on the immediate resignation of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, the spokesman for the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), said at a press conference held in Benghazi that the AU plan is not accepted because it does not call for Gaddafi to give up power.
"The NTC rejects all proposals that do not include the departure of Gaddafi and his circles," Ghoga said.
After the 17th AU Summit held in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, on Thursday, the AU handed its proposals to delegates of Libya's two conflicting sides attending the AU conference, urging the two sides to follow AU's road map to halt hostilities and start talks immediately.
In its peace plan, the AU suggested that the timeframe for negotiations between the Libyan government and rebels should be limited to a maximum of 30 days unless the parties to the talks decide otherwise, and that the international community should help to facilitate the process.
The AU proposals also include enforcing an arms embargo inside Libya till the end of the transitional period and implementing necessary reforms to meet the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, including organizing elections under international monitoring.
However, the AU proposal does not touch upon the departure of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which is the precondition set by the Libyan opposition to achieve a ceasefire.
"Recently, the NTC has received several proposals that are not official and not based on the departure of Gaddafi's regime, which we will not accept," Ghoga added.
The AU also urged the international community to deploy observers to the North African country, establish an efficient, reliable monitoring body and beef up humanitarian aid.