Daily Israel Report

S. African President Attempts to Broker Deal in Libya

South African President Jacob Zuma has arrived in the Libyan capital, hoping to broker a deal to end the civil war.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/30/2011, 8:36 PM / Last Update: 5/30/2011, 9:37 PM

South African President Jacob Zuma arrived Monday in the Libyan capital hoping to broker an end to the country's three-month long bloody civil war.

 Zuma, who is representing the African Union, was whisked away to a secret meeting place almost immediately as soon as his car arrived in the city.

Many of the member nations in the organizations have in the past benefited from the generosity of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who now finds himself increasingly isolated.

Qaddafi has reportedly been spending each night in a different hospital in order to avoid being killed in NATO bombing attacks. His government representatives, however, have denied the reports to those journalists who have managed to remain free.

Opposition forces have rejected a proposed ceasefire and settlement offered by the African Union, in part because it has not included Qaddafi's departure.

Meanwhile, Libyan Muslim cleric Khaled Tantush accused journalists of distorting Qaddafi's record and shouted that a million Libyans are willing to die – referring to a remark by Qaddafi that his regime has armed a million Libyans. “We are all willing to die!” Tantush shouted during a news conference held Sunday at a hotel facing the Mediterranean Sea.

The cleric's sincerity may soon be tested: British Defense Secretary Liam Fox revealed in a television interview the same day that the Royal Air Force is preparing 2,000-pound Paveway III bunker-buster bombs to target Qaddafi's compounds, where he and his closest associates and government officials currently take refuge.