PARIS, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Estimates that the French government spent $3.6 million per day on the military intervention in Mali may be "conservative," a military historian said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed that Paris spent more than $3 million a day in military operations in Mali. The Malian government Jan. 11 called on its former colonial power to help stop the advance of foreign and al-Qaida militants.
"It all depends on what you are counting, but in regards to France, estimates (of war costs) tend to be very conservative," Alexandre Vautravers, a military historian at the University of Geneva, told news agency France 24.
France 24 reported the intervention in Libya cost about $2.1 million per day.
Mali lost control over northern sections of the country following a coup in early 2012.
The International Criminal Court said it was investigating possible war crimes in Mali. It expressed concern that Malian forces may seek revenge on certain members of society as they press north.
Phil Clark, a professor of international politics at the University of London, told the U.N.'s humanitarian news agency IRIN there are "serious questions" about the ICC's ability to pursue many cases given stagnant financing, however.
U.S. and NATO leaders have expressed concern that global budgetary issues may severely affect their ability to defend their interests.
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