March 12, 2011 / 6:55 AM / 8 years ago

African Union names panel to help end Libya crisis

Anti-Gaddafi rebels prepare their anti-tank guns in case of air strikes as pro-Gaddafi forces took over the city of Ras Lanuf March 11, 2011. Troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi intensified their counter-offensive on Friday to retake ground from out-gunned insurgents who appealed to foreign powers to impose a no-fly zone to stop the onslaught. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leaders of South Africa, Uganda, Mauritania, Congo and Mali will form a panel that will travel to Libya shortly to help end the violence there, the African Union announced late on Friday.

“The ad hoc committee was set up ... to engage with all parties in Libya, facilitate in an inclusive dialogue among them, and engage AU partners ... for the speedy resolution of the crisis in Libya,” the bloc said.

At a meeting of heads of state on Thursday, the head of the AU’s Peace and Security Council, Ramtane Lamamra, said events in the north African country needed “urgent African action” to bring about an end to the hostilities.

The AU has rejected foreign military intervention in Libya, where forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi are battling with rebels seeking to end his 42-year-old rule.

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