Gaddafi Offers To Negotiate; “Absolutely Not,” Rebels Say


An offer by Muammar Gaddafi to enter into talks with the rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC) to form a transitional government has been quickly rejected. The Guardian reports that, on Saturday night, Moussa Ibrahim, regime spokesman for Gaddafi, called the New York office of the Associated Press and said that Gaddafi wanted his son Saadi to lead negotiations with the NTC. Ibrahim was identified only by his voice and said he was still in Tripoli, and Gaddafi and his sons are still in Libya.

Ali Tarhouni, the rebel official in charge of oil and financial matters, answered with a definitive no:

“No negotiation is taking place with Gaddafi. If he wants to surrender, then we will negotiate and we will capture him.”

Guma el-Gamaty, the UK coordinator of the NTC, said the rebels are “absolutely 100% not” prepared to enter into talks with Gaddafi’s regime:

“The only negotiation is how to apprehend him, [for him] to tell us where he is and what conditions he wants for his apprehension: whether he wants to be kept in a single cell or shared cell or whether he wants to have his own shower or not, you know. These are the kind of negotiations we are willing to talk about.”

British foreign secretary William Hague said that Gaddafi’s offer to negotiate was “delusional” and pointed out that a transition of power is already in place, with the NTC now locating itself in Tripoli under chairman Mustafa Abdel-Jalil.

Even as the hunt for Gaddafi continues, the NTC is under heavy pressure to restore essential services including running water and electricity to Tripoli, a city of some 2 million. The rebels report that there has been no damage to water or power lines and that service has yet to be restored due to “technical issues.” The New York Times explains how serious the lack of water is in Tripoli:

Libya is a desert country without a river, and Tripoli residents get their water from desert wells through a vast system of reservoirs and ducts known as the Great Man-Made River. Its operation requires electrical power, and the electrical power relies on fuel, so both problems may be related to the fuel shortages from the civil war and NATO blockade.

The NTC is also concerned about the fate of some 50,000 people arrested in recent months who remain unaccounted for, says the BBC. Many activists, and even those only suspected of supporting the uprising, were detained in “waves of security crackdowns” after protests began in February as Gaddafi sought to keep the uprising from moving to Tripoli. Says Rebel military spokesman Col Ahmed Omar Bani:

Rights groups have seen evidence that dozens of people have been massacred near prisons, but Col Bani did not accuse anyone of killing the prisoners.

“The number of people arrested over the past months is estimated at between 57,000 and 60,000,” he said in a news conference in Benghazi.

“Between 10,000 and 11,000 prisoners have been freed up until now… so where are the others?”

Rebel groups believed that prisoners may have been detained in underground bunkers, which have been abandoned. Human Rights Watch says it has evidence that Gaddafi forces killed at least 17 prisoners prior to the rebels’ taking Tripoli and that they also carried out “suspected arbitrary executions of dozens of civilians, including professionals.”

The Guardian says that NTC leaders know that they “will be judged by whether they can match the benchmark set by the ousted autocrat and are stressing that essential supplies, including drinking water and petrol, are on the way.” As the New York Times notes, the killings, dysfunction and general chaos “suggested how intensely Colonel Qaddafi’s chaotic and bloody legacy continues to challenge the fledgling transitional government even though he himself is out of sight and on the run.” Images of the grotesque luxury that he and his family lived in only hints at the misuse of resources under Gaddafi’s regime.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Tripoli Under Rebel Control As Horrors of Libyan Conflict Emerge

McCain Pledged To Help Gaddafi Get Military Aircraft, Says Leaked Cable

Libya, Obama and American Global Leadership


Photo of Libyan rebels by sam_churchill


Ellen M.
Ellen M6 years ago

The racially motivated arrests by the rebels are unacceptable!

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

The Colonel was offered an easy exit several times; including a comfortable retirement in Europe where he has friends and relatives. Later the door to Venezuela was open. The time to negotiate is when you still have resources, not when you've totally lost. The rebels are right to give him the heave-to.

The atrocities on all sides are disturbing, but the Colonel's forces seem to have disposed of vastly larger numbers of people. Certainly he has done that over the past 40 years. He has always employed poor African mercenaries as cannon fodder, but we know how victimization can blossom in post-war scenarios. Nobody's hands are free of the mark of Cain. However, the world is cautiously wishing the NTC well and hoping they will step up to a higher standard. No more massacres and summary executions like Younus'. Enough people have died already.

Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

Say what you will about the Rebels - history will tell - but I have got to say I do like the dry humour expressed in the response above of their UK coordinator that the only negotiations the NTC would be willing to enter into with Gaddafi would involve his choice of single or shared cell with en suite or not. Sorry I know what is going on in Libya and what has been in the past is no laughing matter, but it is refreshing to find a little chink of humour amongst all the gloom, thank you Mr Guma el-Gamaty - I wish you and your new government and most importantly the people of Libya a happier and hopefully fairer, free and peaceful future, and with I hope a few things to laugh about.

Ralph R Sutton
Ralph R Sutton6 years ago

Gaddafi missed his chance to talk. Now the rebels can taste victory and the only talking to Gaddafi they want to do is in a court of law where they will try him for crimes against his own people.

Joy Wong
Joy W6 years ago

Noted, thanks.

Philip S.
Philip S6 years ago

Al CIAda takes over a new country and everybody is cheering about it.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

"Gaddafi’s offer to negotiate was “delusional”...". No kidding!
I hope the rebels do a much better job of leading their people.
It will be interesting to watch.

Aristotle Romanov

I wonder why these "Rebels" are so loved by the media. I mean, even if Gaddafi is THAT bad as portrayed, does that necessarily mean that the rebels are champions of righteousness? Isn't war bad per-se? Why is it so acclaimed, then? This smells really bad to me.

Siusaidh C.
Susan C6 years ago

Horrible plight of Black people (Libyan & foreign) in 'Rebel' hands:

We have know of this racist 'Rebel' behavior since near the beginning, but NATO is OK with it. When does this 'ethnic cleaning' amount to genocide?

Gary A L.
Gary L6 years ago

thanks very much worth keeping informed using all available sources not main stream media either