Croatia will not be cleared of mines until 2010, the deadline defined by the Ottawa Convention and prescribed by the National Program For Counter-Mine Effect. Solution of one of the most important humanitarian problems in Croatia is postponed once again.
Every fourth citizen between mines
According to the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC) there are still 1174 square km of space under mines, which embraces 14 out of 21 counties in Croatia. Even more disturbing is the fact that this area is populated by approximately million people, which is almost one quarter of entire population in Croatia! CROMAC statistics say that in the past six years there were 236 mine victims in Croatia, among them 88 fatalities. One of the reasons is because 3% of mine suspective area are still being cultivated by their owners.
246.287 mines left
According to the Program, in the future years priority in mine clearance will have houses and house lots, as well as infrastructure objects. For realization of the Program in the next six years, Croatia will have to triple overall funds invested in solving this problem. So far, total amount spent for that purpose is estimated on 200 million euros.
– There are 246.287 mines still threatening in Croatia.- said Otto Jungwirth, the Director of the Croatian Mine Action Centre in his interview for a daily paper «Vjesnik». Except the cleaning of remaining mines CROMAC objectives also include maintenance of the already marked mine suspective areas, as well as providing help to the mine victims and presenting achieved results to the international community.
Distribution of mine maps
Furthermore, CROMAC intents to distribute mine maps with mine suspective areas to all counties, municipalities and cities most affected by mines. By doing so CROMAC wants to raise awareness about potential danger among local population and enable them in informing CROMAC about unmarked mine fields.