African Union calls for `inclusive` transition in

The AU has opposed the NATO air raids against Gaddafi and repeatedly called for dialogue between the Libyan leader and the rebels.

Addis Ababa: The African Union should
support efforts for an inclusive transition in Libya, after a
months-long rebel onslaught brought down Muammar Gaddafi`s
regime, a senior AU official urged on Friday.

AU Commission chief Jean Ping said the armed struggle was
nearing an end and that the pan-African body should support
the Libyan people to move to the next stage.

"It is now clear that the military phase of the conflict
is about to end," said Ping at the opening of an AU Peace and
Security Council meeting in Addis Ababa over the Libyan
crisis, attended by only three African leaders.

"On this new phase that`s opening in Libya, we have to
stand by the Libyan people and continue to engage them with
the same determination."

"Now more than ever, we have to make efforts to ensure an
inclusive and consensual transition to lead us to elections
that will allow the Libyan people to freely choose their
leaders," Ping said, without specifying exactly who that will
involve.

The AU has opposed the NATO air raids against Gaddafi and
repeatedly called for dialogue between the Libyan leader and
the rebels, but its efforts have largely been ignored.

The 54-member bloc has yet to recognise the rebel-led
National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya`s governing
authority, although several African states have individually
acknowledged the rebel government.

Ethiopia and Rwanda have called on the AU to support and
acknowledged the rebels, who have forced long-serving Gaddafi
to flee from Tripoli to an unknown location as they stormed
the capital at the weekend.

The NTC announced today they would move their leadership
from the eastern city of Bengazi to Tripoli, where they still
face resistance from diehard regime loyalists.

PTI

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