An African Union delegation finally managed to meet with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli on Sunday, 10 April 2011. At the end of the talks, the head of the delegation, South African President Jacob Zuma, told the press that the "road map" leading out of the crisis had been accepted by the "Brother Leader".
Composed of AU Secretary General Jean Ping and the Presidents of South Africa, Mali (Amadou Toumani Touré), Mauritania (Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Denis Sassou Nguesso), the delegation headed for Benghazi for talks with the National Transitional Council.
The "road map" was crafted by the AU ad hoc committee on 19 March in Nouakchott, Mauritania, i.e. the same day the allied military operations were launched.
It was adopted on 23 March by the AU Peace and Security Council. Ever since, the AU desperately attempted to reach Tripoli to clinch the deal with Colonel Gaddafi, but the coalition stood in its way. It took some arduous shuttle diplomacy, including a referral for the UN Secretary-General to coordinate with NATO, before an air corridor for the AU delegation was finally opened.
Western leaders have consistently told public opinion that the military operations were backed by the African Union, while in truth the AU has denounced the use of force, boycotted the Paris (19 March) and London (29 March) conferences convened by the coalition, and accused NATO of exceeding the UN mandate.
The coalition de facto obstructed the negotiations and plunged into 18 days of unbridled bombardments against Libya. As could unfortunately be expected, the Libyan rebels’ Western advisers have prodded them to reject the "road map". Consequently, before "any" negotiation, the National Transitional Council has posed a precondition: Colonel Gaddafi’s capitulation.