African Union Peace Plan with Gadhafi is nonstarter

So Muammar Gadhafi has accepted a "road map" for peace proposed by the African Union to end the conflict in his country, according to South African president Jacob Zuma.

 It's impossible to take this effort seriously.

The supposed deal calls for a ceasefire, and for NATO to cease bombing to allow give it a chance, while Gadhafi and the rebels negotiate. But the Libyan leader has ignored previous ceasefire calls, and his troops began bombing Misrata again, just after the AU announced he'd accepted their road map.

Moreover, there's no sign the AU is pushing for Gadhafi to step down, a bedrock demand of the rebels. In fact, it would be hardly likely that the African Union, which has a pretty sad track record when it comes to promoting democracy or pressuring dictators, would push Gadhafi to exit. After all, he's reputedly been bankrolling African Union members for years.

More likely would be a plan that called for power-sharing arrangement between Gadhafi and the rebels, like the disastrous deal that the African Union godfathered in Zimbabwe in 2009. There, the brutal President Robert Mugabe, who stole a March 2008 election, has made a sham of the power-sharing accord, harassing, arresting and beating opposition ministers and party leaders. Mugabe won't let go of power, and Zimbabwe is sliding again towards chaos.

As Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Monday, Gadhafi's past crimes make it unlikely he will respect a ceasefire. "The future of Libya should include the departure of Gadhafi," Frattini said.

Any deal with Gadhafi will go nowhere unless it ends with him leaving power.

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