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Libya Warns UK over Rebel Plan

Libya’s foreign minister has warned against a plan by Britain to send a team of military personnel to advise rebels, saying that the move will harm chances of obtaining peace in the country.

Abdul Ati Obeidi told the BBC that a UK military presence in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi would prolong fighting. He instead proposed for a ceasefire, which will later be followed by an interim period of six months to prepare for elections which would be supervised by the United Nations.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

“We think any military presence is a step backwards and we are sure that if this bombing stops and there is a real ceasefire, we could have a dialogue among all Libyans about what they want”, said Obeidi.

He added that the elections would cover whatever issue raised by the Libyans, which could not be covered now due to the ongoing violence. He pointed to the UK, France and Italy as not being helpful towards the suggested ceasefire and helping humanitarian assistance.

The UN Security Council in March passed a resolution that authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians targeted by attacks. The military alliance-NATO is in command of the mission by the coalition of forces implementing a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace.

His comment follows that one of his British counterpart William Hague who announced that military advisers would join British diplomats already cooperating with rebels in Benghazi. Hague said that the team would advise the rebels on how to improve military structures, and logistics and how best to distribute humanitarian aid and deliver medical assistance.

He said that the deployment would be fully compliant with terms of the UN Security Council resolutions, dismissing claims that the team was gearing to train or arm the rebels fighting forces loyal to Col Muammar Gadaffi.

According to the UN over 400,000 people mostly immigrant workers have fled Libya since beginning of the uprising two months ago that started as peaceful demonstrations seeking an end to Col Gadaffi’s 41-year rule.

Most of the fighting in the country has been confined to air strikes, claiming scores of civilian casualties. Col Gadaffi has been accused of using civilians as shield against the allied forces attack, whom he claims are in support of the rebels seeking to topple him.

A round up of the week’s news, compiled by Newsfromafrica staff writers. Published in Exclusive Partnership with Newsfromafrica.org

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