The Libyan government has rejected ceasefire conditions set out by rebel leaders. Officials say government troops will not leave Libyan cities as demanded by the opposition.
The rejection came after anti-government forces said they would agree to a ceasefire if certain conditions were met. These included the withdrawal of government forces from cities in the west of the country and a pledge to uphold freedom of speech.
Moussa Ibrahim, Libyan Gov’t Spokesman, said, “The rebels never offered any peace, we are the ones who offered peace weeks ago, and we said we are going to talk, and let’s sit down and everything. The rebels are not offering peace. If you are making impossible demands, it’s a trick. If you want peace, you keep things as they are, you sit down and you negotiate. But to make impossible demands is a trick. So what they are doing is not a genuine wish for peace.”
Intense fighting continued as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi shelled the rebel-held city of Misrata for the third day in a row. The city is the last significant rebel stronghold in the country’s west.
Seeking to regain momentum in the face of government advances, rebels have deployed heavy weaponry in the eastern oil town of Brega and more rockets have been moved towards the town of Ajdabiyah.
In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, organized defensive positions have been set up to prevent the advance of government forces.