Two sons of fugitive former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi made diametrically opposed claims on Wednesday, with one son saying he was willing to negotiate with the rebels and another son vowing to continue to fight them.
It began when one son, al-Saadi Qaddafi, said he was ready to mediate talks with the rebels in order to stop the bloodshed.
The Al-Arabiya network quoted al-Saadi has having said, “The most important is to stop the bloodshed.”
A rebel commander in Tripoli later told The Associated Press al-Saadi is trying to negotiate the terms of his own surrender.
The commander, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, told AP al-Saadi first called him Tuesday and asked whether his safety could be guaranteed.
“We told him ‘Don’t fear for your life. We will guarantee your rights as a human being, and will deal with you humanely,’” Belhaj said.
Belhaj added al-Saadi told him he had not killed anyone, and that “he was not against the people.” He said al-Saadi had called back Wednesday morning, but that he had missed the call. He noted he knows al-Saadi’s whereabouts, but prefers to negotiate a surrender.
On Wednesday night, however, another of Qaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, vowed to fight to the death, insisting nobody still loyal to the regime would surrender to the rebels.
In an audio statement broadcast on the Al-Rai television station Saif al-Islam was heard saying, “We are going to die in our land. No one is going to surrender.”
The two sons’ conflicting statements came after earlier on Wednesday it was reported that Qaddafi himself had offered to enter talks with Libya’s rebels over the formation of a transitional government.
The offer of negotiations was slapped down quickly by a senior NTC official, who said the rebels would not talk to Qaddafi unless he surrendered.
The dearth of objective news sources in Libya at present, gives rise to constantly conflicting reports emanating from the two sides in the civil war.