7 Jan 2011

UN seeks more troops as Ivory Coast impasse continues

1:35 pm on 7 January 2011

The United Nations is seeking up to 2000 additional troops for peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast.

The refusal of outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo to step down has sparked fears of renewed civil war.

The UN says Mr Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara, won the 28 November poll.

The world body has some 9,000 soldiers in place, and a request for additional troops will be sent by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to the Security Council next week.

Mr Outtara is holed up in a hotel in Abidjan protected by UN troops, and now says that foreign special forces should remove Mr Gbagbo by force.

Laurent Gbagbo, who has ruled Ivory Coast since 2000, has ordered UN forces out of the country and is reported to be expelling the British and Canadian ambassadors.

A statement on state television said the action was being taken as the diplomat's countries no longer recognised Mr Gbagbo's ambassadors.