Gaddafi's cousin tells rebels to avoid bloodshed

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2011 8:40 PM
Gaddafi's cousin tells rebels to avoid bloodshed

CAIRO (Reuters) - A cousin of Muammar Gaddafi urged Libyans on Wednesday to heed the rebel leadership's call to unite, respect the law and avoid bloodshed.

Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam's call, in an interview with the Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV channel, could speed up the unification of Libyan tribes after rebels swept through the capital Tripoli and seized Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Gaddafi has vanished but pockets of loyalists continue to taunt rebels across the country, including in Tripoli.

"From Cairo, I call on the people of Libya ... to listen to what my brother (Mustafa) Abdel Jalil had said," Gaddaf al-Dam said. "The military, civilians and sheikhs must listen to Abdel Jalil's call to sit down together and avoid more bloodshed."

"Enough this destruction. Victory in this battle does not save anyone," Gaddaf al-Dam, who was born in Egypt to a Libyan father and an Egyptian mother, added.

Abdel Jalil, the head of the rebel council, urged his fighters on Monday to respect the law and not take revenge on members of Gaddafi's government.

Gaddaf al-Dam bears a strong resemblance to the Libyan leader and has acted as a mediator between Cairo and the Libyan government. After the outbreak of the rebellion in February, he said he had abandoned his role, positioning himself as a neutral observer.

"I was the first to protest, and resigned," Gaddaf al-Dam said. "The rebels had legitimate demands. I left Libya and came to Egypt so I won't be taking sides," he added.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Marwa Awad; Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Sami Aboudi)