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Rebels in Ivory Coast Call on President to Resign

Rebels in Ivory Coast have called on President Laurent Gbagbo to resign from his post.

The rebel group, New Forces, says only the leader's removal from power will bring stability to the country.

Meanwhile, South African President Thabo Mbeki consulted with West African leaders Monday ahead of his trip to Ivory Coast to mediate the crisis there. The African Union appointed him to the task, which was expected to begin in the next few days.

French President Jacques Chirac has urged the government and the rebels to, in his words, "find the path of national reconciliation."

He also defended his country's military action in Ivory Coast, saying Saturday's strike was for the protection of French nationals there.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP, Reuters.