A contract valued at HRK 9.7 million was signed on Friday to clear one square kilometre of farmland in the Hrvace municipality in the Split hinterland, and the undertaking should be completed in about three months, a press conference was told.
Drazen Jakopec, the director of the Croatian Mine Action Centre, said that there were sill 440 square kilometres of mine-strewn territory in nine counties in Croatia that were contaminated with over 43,000 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines left after the war.
Jakopec added that the originally set deadline - 2019 - for the country to be completely free of mines will have to be postponed, but he could not say until when.
He said that he regretted that between 2009 and 2015 the national mine clearance programme had not been supported with the foreseen financial scope. "The problem of mine clearance has to be addressed seriously as the remaining mines are a security and economic matter," Jakopec said.
(EUR 1 = HRK 7.5)