Libyan Rebels Reject AU Cease-Fire Plan
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
NPR's Peter Kenyon has our story from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
PETER KENYON: Unidentified Group: (Foreign language spoken)
KENYON: French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, in Benghazi to support the rebels, suggested that these African envoys had fallen short of the standards set by such iconic African leaders as South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of Congo.
BERNARD HENRI: I'm sad to see the images I saw yesterday of the African delegation embracing Gadhafi. I remember the Africa of Lumumba, of Mandela, they would not have acted this way.
KENYON: Mustafa Abdul Jalil cited several problems, the most severe being the African Union's apparent endorsement of Gadhafi's regime as a legitimate entity to negotiate with.
MUSTAFA ABDUL JALIL: (Through translator) Our demand from the start has been that Gadhafi, his sons and his regime leave us. Therefore, any request that does not include this we will not accept. Moammar Gadhafi and his sons should leave immediately if he wants to save his life.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
KENYON: The rebels' reaction was no surprise to some of the African leaders. Malian president, Amadou Toumani Toure, in a brief interview before the meeting began, said although there was no expectation of an immediate agreement, it was important to try to improve the atmosphere between the two sides.
AMADOU TOUMANI TOURE: (Foreign language spoken)
KENYON: Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Benghazi.
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