Rebels to enter pro-Gaddafi town after deal

2011-09-06 08:58

Dubai - Libyan forces plan to enter the pro-Gaddafi desert town of Bani Walid on Tuesday after reaching a deal with delegates from the town to avoid fighting, Al Jazeera television said.

The pan-Arab news channel, citing the anti-Gaddafi forces, said the fighters were expected to enter the city after the deal is formalised, which would likely be around midday.

Bani Walid, which lies 150km south of Tripoli, had refused to surrender to forces loyal to the National Transitional Council (NTC), giving rise to expectations there would be another round of fighting to rout forces loyal to Libya's longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On-and-off talks involving Bani Walid's tribal elders had previously been unable to reach a breakthrough. A deal was finally reached in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Al Jazeera said, after a number of Gaddafi supporters left the besieged town.

With anti-Gaddafi forces massed around the town for days, the face-off had been seen as an important indicator of the NTC's ability to put tribal divisions aside and negotiate a peaceful handover, or risk a sliding back into bloodshed.

The town is a stronghold for the powerful Warfalla tribe of about one million people, which had remained loyal to the ousted regime.

  • Jarryd - 2011-09-06 09:24

    Well every peaceful solution is encouraging for this countries prospects ;)

  • willieman - 2011-09-06 09:45

    Where is AU in all this.It is brewing in Angola Dos Santos has there for 30yrs.AU is waiting until the problem gets out of hand.Just like their silence about uncle Bob

      Nom-de-guerre - 2011-09-06 12:46

      There is no limit in england to the number of years a person can become Prime Minister so long he is the leader of his party. There is no law in Angola limiting the # of years a person can stay president as well, so long his party wins elections. What's your point?

      john - 2011-09-06 13:36

      His point is that, despite having a thriving oil industry and good revenue from oil sales, the majority of Angolans have to live on $2 a day. The reason the people aren't getting the money is that corrupt govt officials are stealing it. When a President has been in power for decades and has failed to address that problem, the time has come to remove him. Because he clearly has no intention of addressing it. If the British people had to live on $2 a day, I guarantee you that they would remove the PM very quickly and replace him with a better candidate. This is what democracies do, and it is why democracies top all world lists in terms of human development indices (income, freedom, life expectancy, education).

      slg - 2011-09-06 16:44

      Nom-de-Guerre, there are periodic general elections in which all citizens of the country of voting age can express their choice as to which party or candidate becomes Prime Minister or President. Under Gadhafi, Libyans did not have this right for 42 years, and he turned on Libyans violently when they demonstrated for this most basic of human rights following the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt. Eight to ten years is the longest a particular Prime Minister or President has been in power. Nelson Mandela wisely stood down after one five year term. Dictators with their Ego's never do, a-la Robert Mugabe and Gadhafi. They believe they're God's gift to humanity.

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