Net emigration to other Soviet republics was only 5,600 during 1979–88. The number rose to 28,800 in 1989 and 39,900 in 1990. With independence in 1991 came three secessionist movements in three autonomous areas, conflicts in two of them. The conflict in South Ossetia in 1991, followed by the conflict in Abkhazia in 1992 and 1993, resulted in the mass displacement of ethnic Georgians, Ossetians, and Abkhaz, as well as other ethnic minorities. As many as 200,000 Georgians may have fled the fighting in Abkhazia in 1993. By December 1996, Georgia had 280,000 internally displaced persons. In February of 1997, a voluntary repatriation plan was agreed upon for persons to return to South Ossetia. Hostilities resumed in Gali in May 1998, displacing some 40,000 residents. In 2000, the net migration rate was -5.7 migrants per 1,000 population, a significant change from -9.2 per 1,000 in 1990. In that year there were 219,000 in that year. The government views the migration levels as too high.