The United Nations on Friday warned that the western-led war in Mali will leave massive wave of displacements in the West African state.
“We believe that in the near future there could be up to 300,000 people additionally displaced inside Mali, and over 400,000 additionally displaced in the neighboring countries,” The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters on Friday.
The figures do not include the existing 229,000 people already displaced inside the country and 147,000 refugees who have fled to neighboring nations, she said in Geneva.
The spokeswoman also noted that many have been unable to leave the violence-hit country due to the high costs.
The wave of displacements came after France aircraft started airstrikes in the country on January 11, with thousands of Malians fleeing for Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger.
France and several European and African countries have sent troops to the West African state to help the Malian government stop the advance of rebels who have been occupying the country’s north Mali since April.