Editorial : The bloodshed continues - Thursday 14th April 2011

THANKS to Muammar Qadhafi, Libya has been rendered nothing short of a charnel house. The figures given by the opposition — 10,000 killed, 30,000 wounded and 20,000 missing — may well be exaggerated. But even if half these numbers are true, Mr Qadhafi should feel ashamed, repent and quit. His acceptance of the African Union peace plan has become meaningless, because his son continues to insist that the colonel will stay in power. The Arab League is in a fix. It had called for the imposition of a no-fly zone, but the scale of the Libyan tragedy and the rise in civilian casualties from Nato air strikes appear to have to paralysed it. It is time the Arab League coordinated its diplomatic efforts with those of the African Union, which is probing the possibility of reforms within the system. The difficulty lies in combining a halt to Nato air strikes with the peace move. An end to Nato bombings will give an overwhelming tactical advantage to government forces and add to the rebels` military weakness. That this military setback will make the rebels agree to power-sharing is difficult to accept.
Neutral observers rule out a military victory for the rebels, and this means the seesaw battle will continue. The heartlessness of the civil war is evident from the pounding of Misrata by the loyalist forces, whose long-range guns continue to inflict heavy casualties on the civilian population. Food is scarce and medical supplies are running out, thus aggravating the people`s misery. The intensity of hatred on the rebels` side for Mr Qadhafi stands in the way of a political solution, and unless common sense dawns on the strongman and he quits, the slaughter will continue, while a ceasefire agreed to by both sides could lead to the oil-rich country`s de facto partition.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/14/the-bloodshed-continues.html

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