South Africa says the Ivorian army chief of staff has sought refuge at the home of the South African ambassador to the troubled West African country.

A statement issued by the foreign ministry Thursday said Gen. Phillippe Mangou, his wife and five children arrived at the ambassador's home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Wednesday night.

South Africa says it is consulting with unnamed parties in Ivory Coast, West African regional leaders, the African Union and the U.N. on Mangou's move.

Mangou sought refuge as rebels fighting to install Ivory Coast's democratically elected president began besieging Abidjan after seizing a key seaport and the hometown of the country's entrenched ruler.