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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 09:37 GMT
UN extends mandate in Ivory Coast
President Laurent Gbagbo (l) with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro
President Gbagbo (l) and PM Soro are now working together
The UN Security Council has renewed the mandate for peacekeeping forces in Ivory Coast, which has been split in two since a civil war in 2002.

The UN also called on all parties to redouble efforts to hold long-postponed elections by June this year.

In a report last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recommended that the mission be extended until key benchmarks were achieved.

These included disarmament and the organisation of elections.

The new resolution means the 8,000-strong UN force and the 3,500 French soldiers that support it will stay until 30 July.

Ivory Coast split after Muslims in the north took up arms in protest at measures they said disenfranchised them.

A peace deal in March reunited the country and made former rebel leader Guillaume Soro prime minister in a power-sharing government with President Laurent Gbagbo.

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