United Nations: The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed sanctions, including a travel ban and asset freeze on Ivory Coast's strongman Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and close aides.

The resolution calls on Gbagbo to step down from presidency of the West African nation. It came five days after Nigeria and France introduced a draft resolution expressing concern that the country could relapse into a civil war.

Gbagbo has refused to accept Alassane Ouattara as the lawful winner of the November presidential polls.

While voting in favour of imposing sanctions on the Ivory Coast's incumbent leader, India blasted the tendency of hurrying to adopt Security Council resolutions.

"We also want to place on report our growing concern at the tendency to hurry the process of adopting resolutions," India's envoy Hardeep Singh Puri told the Security Council.

India also raised objections to the UN siding with Ouattara and said that its 10,000 strong peacekeeping force (UNOCI) should not be part of the political stalemate in that country.

China also took a similar stand like India on this point and said, "China always believes that the UN peacekeeping operation should strictly abide by the principle of neutrality.”

(Agencies)