Libyans look for ‘road map to peace’

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The uprising in Libya began nearly two months ago and not much has changed.

The only difference is foreign intervention, which leader Moammar Gadhafi supporters strongly oppose.

The United Nations have authorized a No-Fly-Zone in Libya. This means unauthorized planes are not allowed to fly over the country.

On April 10, African Union mediators arrived in Libya to attempt to negotiate with Gadhafi.

Some of the requests were a “consideration of demands of the Libyan people,” and to cease fire, or what they call a “Road Map to Peace,” according to news outlets covering the events.

South African president Jacob Zuma stated the Gadhafi had accepted the proposals.

However, many anti-Gadhafi people and opposition leaders were not optimistic.

“They’re a group of dictators themselves and they won’t be taken very seriously given that they’re from very brutal

regimes which are in many ways far worse than the Gadhafi regime,” stated Nabila Ramdani, a French journalist and Middle East expert for Al Jazeera in an article online.

Most of the fighting is going on in the western part of the city. Civilians have escaped to the east, where the opposition still has a stronghold on Benghazi.

African Union leaders were “seeking Tripoli cooperation” in reaching the opposition leaders in Benghazi, according to Al Jazeera.

But how can a decision be reached and the violence against civilians be stopped when no one is willing to negotiate?

“The Tripoli side won’t negotiate without (Gadhafi), and the Benghazi side won’t negotiate with (Gadhafi),” said Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught.

Protesters insist Gadhafi be removed from power before any negotiations can begin.

Foreign intervention has kept pro-government supporters at bay at least, despite rising death tolls.

One concern about helping the rebels is who exactly inspired and led them.

“We need to support countries going toward a more democratic framework. Refusing a paternalistic approach, we have to encourage, to support, to help,” Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini, according to Al Jazeera.

Does it matter who started what? No.

What matters is the cause. What matters is that violence against civilians has to stop.

The people of Libya are demanding a change for the better.

They are tired of being oppressed by a dictator.

They want a democracy. They won’t get it without help.