The Ivory Coast on Thursday formally recognized the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as "the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people."
The Ivorian government is "very worried about the ongoing situation in Libya, caused by the massacre of the civilian population, the massive violations of human rights," said Foreign Minister Daniel Duncan, reading a statement to the press.
The government also called on the NTC "to initiate as soon as possible a dialogue" leading to "free, open and transparent elections."
This was the first time the Ivory Coast has taken a position on the Libyan conflict since it began six months ago.
The Ivory Coast in 2007 was admitted as a member of the Community of Sahel-Sahara States, which was founded by Moammar Qaddafi in 1998.
Ethiopia recognizes Libyan rebels