Spain: ETA should disband and clear unresolved crimes

  • Spain: ETA should disband and clear unresolved crimes

Spain: ETA should disband and clear unresolved crimes

In a statement released on Friday, the group said that it would turn over its final weapons to Basque civil society groups on Saturday and that it wanted to "inform the global community.that it is now a disarmed organization". The organization hasn't said yet whether it would.

In this file image made from video provided in October, 2011, masked members of the Basque separatist group ETA raise their fists in unison following a news conference at an unknown location.

"The actions carried out today by the terrorist group are nothing more than the result of their definitive defeat", Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido told reporters in Madrid.

Spanish media have speculated that Eta may not have many weapons left, after so many successful police operations.

Pro independence Basque followers hold up the symbol of the day called "Artisans of the Peace" close to a Basque flag during a meeting after the announcement that ETA handed over its arms in Bayonne, southwestern France, Saturday, April 8, 2017.

For the International Verification Commission, not recognised by Madrid or Paris, it is a cause for hope.

While disarmament is a crucial step to ending the Basque conflict, it remains to be seen whether the gradual fade-out on one of the Europe's last standing violent nationalist conflicts can help heal the decades-old social divisions it caused in Spain and its northern Basque region.

It is not yet clear if the process will receive the full backing of the Spanish and French governments.

French police were working to identify the locations and "secure these sites and secure arms and explosives that may be found there", Fekl said.

ETA wrote a letter, obtained by the BBC, in which they stated that they would hand over their weapons to civilian go-betweens, who would deliver them to the official handover Saturday in Bayonne, France.

But the process was not complete and declared tomorrow "disarmament day".

The president of the Victims of Terrorism Foundation, Maria del Mar Blanco, whose brother was kidnapped and killed by ETA in 1997, called for "nobody to rewrite history".

"The bad guys are still the bad guys".

In its newly-published letter, ETA said the process of disarming has been "a hard and difficult task", praising the Basque authorities while accusing Spain and France of being "stubborn".

Javier Maroto of Spain's ruling Party Popular said the disarmament is "a step forward, but it's not enough".

"What we are going to try to put on the table is the prisoners' issue, the refugees, the demilitarization of this country", Otegi said Friday according to Spanish news agency Europa Press, referring to ETA jailed militants and those in exile.

Hundreds of killings remain unsolved and the arms caches could help lead authorities to perpetrators.

In a symbolic gesture in 2014, ETA released a video showing masked members giving up a limited weapons cache to verifiers.

Joe Wilson contributed to the story from Barcelona, Spain.