African leaders are heading for Libya in an attempt to broker a peace deal between rebels and forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The team will consist of South African President, Jacob Zuma and four other leaders, representing the African Union.
They are due to leave Mauritania for the Libyan capital on Sunday and in addition to meeting government representatives, they will travel to Benghazi, a rebel stronghold in the east of the conflict-torn country. Meanwhile, fighting rages on in nearby Ajdabiya, where Gaddafi's forces have begun to make significant gains in pushing back the rebels.
The diplomatic mission, which had gathered in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, is represented by five different African nations, reports BBC Africa. The five-strong African Union delegation will be headed by Zuma and his team consisting of Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure, Congo's Denis Sassou Nguessou, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Mauritania's Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
President Zuma said the Committee had been granted permission by NATO to enter Libya and to meet with the rebel leadership, otherwise known as the Interim Transitional National Council in Benghazi, as well as Gaddafi in Tripoli.
Reuters Africa reports, the mission's objective was to stop the military operations and propose appropriate political solutions that might bring the crisis to an end.