Libyan rebels have rejected a proposal by Moammar Gaddafi to call for a ceasefire in exchange for an end to NATO military strikes.
The Transitional National Council (TNC), the Benghazi-based governing vehicle for Libyan opposition groups who control the eastern part of the country, said Gaddafi should play no role whatsoever in a post-conflict Libya.
The time for compromise has passed, said Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, vice-chairman of the TNC. The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gaddafi's regime plays any role.”
As part of his ceasefire offer, Gaddafi refused to step down from power, a condition the rebels find unacceptable.
Gaddafi defiantly said that NATO must abandon all hope of him resigning and that between Libyans we can solve our problems without being attacked.
He also repeated his claim that rebels are not Libyans at all, but rather are terrorists who are not from Libya, but from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Afghanistan.
The TNC again demanded that Gaddafi must leave.
Gaddafi's regime has lost all credibility. It has repeatedly offered ceasefires only to continue violating basic human rights, Ghoga said.
Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s soldiers continue to lay siege to Misrata, the only city in the western part of Libya that is under rebel control.
Separately, the TNC said that it will soon name its first defense minister, reflecting the increasing stability of this parallel government and growing presence of civilian leadership.
Ghoga even said that the appointee, who has not been named yet, might even have been a former member of the Gaddafi regime.
The new defense minister will replace Omar al-Hariri, a former political prisoner who has served as the TNC's minister of military affairs
The minister of defense will be in charge of all communications, all liaisons between the revolutionaries and the generals, NATO and the council, Ghoga told Al Jazeera. Any military aspect, he'll be in charge of it.
Ghoga added: We in the transitional council are not army people, we are civilians, we're political people, we have nothing to do with the army.