March 24, 2011 / 5:38 PM / in 7 years

African Union chair says Ivory Coast close to civil war

PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast is dangerously close to falling into civil war, the chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping, warned on Thursday.

“We tried to get an agreement,” said Ping, speaking to reporters in Paris. “We continue to try but the civil war is almost there.”

Ping said the tentative agreement had been rejected by incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo but accepted by his challenger, Alassane Ouattara.

Some 462 people have been killed since a disputed November election, which was claimed by Gbagbo despite U.N. certified results showing he lost to Ouattara.

Reporting by John Irish, Writing by Alexandria Sage; +33 1 4949 5219; Reuters Messaging:

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