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AU delegation to mediate in Libya
  An African Union delegation plans to travel to Libya, seeking to mediate an end to fighting between Libyan revolutionaries and forces loyal to the embattled ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
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Sunday 10 April 2011 17:38
Code : 42083
Fierce fighting goes on between pro-Gaddafi forces and revolutionaries in the city of Misrata.
Fierce fighting goes on between pro-Gaddafi forces and revolutionaries in the city of Misrata.
BFnews: The delegation comprises of South Africa\'s President Jacob Zuma accompanied by the leaders of Mauritania, Congo, Mali and Uganda.

The delegation has called for an immediate end to all hostilities in crisis-hit Libya. It also plans to hold talks with both sides.

A South African presidential statement said: The Committee has been granted permission by NATO to enter Libya and to meet in Tripoli with ... Gaddafi. The AU delegation will also meet with the Interim Transitional National Council in Benghazi on 10 and 11 April.

Prior to the upcoming meeting in Libya, African Union mediators met early Sunday in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to discuss the conflict in a bid to obtain a ceasefire and open dialogue between the parties.

Mauritanian head of state Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz declared: This meeting will evaluate the latest developments in the situation before our visit to Libya Sunday,

He was joined by presidents Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo.

The two other presidents on the panel, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, were represented by their foreign ministers.

Ould Abdel Aziz, who chairs the panel said: We have good hopes that this step will lead to the start of a constructive dialogue for a negotiated political solution to this crisis, guaranteeing the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people to preserve their unity and the setting up of reliable and freely chosen democratic institutions.

This comes as fierce fighting for control over the Libyan town of Misratah goes on between pro-Gaddafi forces and revolutionaries in the city.

Forces loyal to Gaddafi have laid siege on Misratah and have been shelling the city for weeks, resulting in heavy civilian casualties.

On Saturday, the revolutionaries repelled attacks by regime troops in three different parts of Misratah.

Reports say at least 30 opposition forces were killed. Gaddafi\'s forces say they have shot down two helicopters used by the revolutionaries in Brega.

Also on Saturday, NATO warplanes launched four airstrikes against the Gaddafi forces near the town on Saturday.

The Libyan opposition has criticized NATO for its failure to respond to the killing of civilians at the hands of the regime forces in Misratah and other parts of Libya.

Pro-Gaddafi forces are locked in battle with opposition forces near key Libyan towns.

A heavy attack by government troops has forced the revolutionaries to retreat from their positions near Ajdabiyah -- another strategic town.

Gaddafi forces have shelled the western outskirts of Ajdabiyah and have forced the revolutionaries to retreat from their positions.

Several revolutionary forces have reportedly been injured.

A source in the revolutionaries\' camp in Benghazi says NATO is turning a blind eye to civilian deaths.

The opposition has also threatened to ask the United Nations Security Council to suspend the NATO mission in Libya if the military alliance does not accomplish "its work properly."

The opposition made the statement after NATO warplanes hit the revolutionary forces\' tanks near Brega on Thursday, killing several people and injuring over a dozen.

The alliance has admitted the killings but has refused to formally apologize.

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Source : Press TV