Denmark officially mine-free as of today

Despite being three years overdue, officials jubilant as Denmark manages to comply with Ottawa Convention

After being an active supporter of mine clearing activites abroad for years, Denmark itself can finally call istelf mine-free today.

The country's last mine field, on Skallingen peninsula, west of Esbjerg, was cleared in late June, and today, the transport minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen, detonated the last remaining mine, putting the country into compliance with the Ottawa convention, which is dedicated to the destruction of mines.

”I am very happy that Denmark has been able to comply with this important convention,” Kristensen said in a press release. “Denmark has a rich tradition of supporting various global mine-clearing projects and it is great that we have cleared all mines from Danish soil forever.”

Starting in 2006 coastal management authority Kystdirektoratet has been scouring the old Second World War minefield. During the six-year search minesweepers found about 8,000 complete or partial mines.

But now Skallingen peninsula, a popular tourist destination, is open once again to the estimated 180,000 guests that visit the area each year.

Denmark was actually supposed to be declared mine-free back in 2009, but the deadline was extended because a German tourist found a mine on the beach in Skallingen that was part of an area that had already been declared mine-free.

Denmark has supported humanitarian mine-clearing since 1992 and has agreed to the Ottawa Convention’s specifications about the mine-clearing, supporting mine victims and mine awareness campaigns. On average, the annual Danish support totals between 50 and 60 million kroner.