Last updated: 7 march, 2011 - 17:18 GMT

Carson gives US warning of encroaching civil war in Ivory Coast

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The political deadlock in Ivory Coast is causing diplomatic concern outside Africa.

Aid agencies are warning of a potential humanitarian disaster in neighbouring Liberia, after tens of thousands of refugees fled following the first major skirmishes on the Ivorian side of the border in seven years.

On Sunday the former rebels, who support Alassane Ouattara's claim to the presidency, took control of a third town, Toulepleu, on the principal road leading from Ivory Coast to Liberia.

The situation is being watched closely by the United States and Johnnie Carson is the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Here in London, the BBC's Chakuchanya Harawa asked if his government is worried that the Ivory Coast crisis will spill into full blown civil war.

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