New York, US (PANA) - The British government on Monday said it was "deeply concerned" by the escalating level of violence in Cote d'Ivoire.
The British Foreign Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, expressed the concern in a statement circulated at the UN headquarters in New York, US.
Bellingham said the government was also alarmed over the situation in the world's top cocoa-producing nation, stating that, "we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Cote d'Ivoire.
"The increasing violence is creating a climate of fear that has led to large numbers of people fleeing their homes and significant refugee flows into neighbouring Liberia."
The minister also called on the former President Laurent Gbagbo to heed to international call, in order to resolve the "lingering crisis''.
The Pan African News Agency (PANA) reported that fighting in Cote d'Ivoire had raged since November following the presidential election.
The UN Security Council had passed a resolution backing Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the election, though incumbent President Gbagbo has refused to give up power.
The UN refugee agency estimated at least 50,000 people fled to Liberia since the conflict began.
Also, UN officials have warned that the country is on the brink of civil war and the US State Department last week issued a travel warning for Cote d'Ivoire.
-0- PANA AA/BOS 7March2011