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ETA: Basque Separatist Group Disbands After Decades Of Conflict

03 May 2018

The group never met its political targets, and by 2009, a survey carried out by the University of the Basque Country found that only one percent of Basque respondents said they totally supported ETA.

Victims of ETA and PIRA yesterday demanded that the Spanish government give no concessions to the Spanish terror group after it announced it has "completely dissolved all its structures".

Created in 1959 at the height of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, it is blamed for the deaths of at least 829 people.

But Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said Wednesday that "they will not obtain a thing for making a declaration they call a dissolution".

The group's letter, dated April 16 but published on Wednesday, ends its almost six-decade-long campaign to create a Basque homeland in a region straddling northern Spain and southwestern France.

It said its dissolution "doesn't overcome the conflict that the Basque Country maintains with Spain and with France" but that its move was aimed at "shaking off the situation of the last decades and building a future from a new starting point".

The bloodiest period came in the early 1980s, as Spain transitioned to democracy. It targeted not only members of the military and police forces, but politicians, entrepreneurs, civilians and some of its own members who wanted to leave ETA.

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A final public declaration from ETA, which Spain regards as a terrorist group, is expected later on Thursday. Some 2,600 people were also injured by its long-running armed campaign.

Civil society groups that have overseen ETA's staggered finale scheduled an event in the southern French town of Cambo-les-Bains on Friday to mark the organization's end.

"This is not the end of ETA we wanted", Consuelo Ordonez, head of the Covite victims' association, said on Wednesday at a gathering in San Sebastian.

At a press conference on Wednesday in San Sebastian, minutes before the militant group's letter was published, victims group Covite criticised a statement last week in which ETA sought forgiveness from victims "who didn't have a direct participation in the conflict".

"The conflict did not start with ETA and it does not finish with the end of ETA's journey", it said.

"There are musings that Spain may be considering releasing ETA prisoners", he said.

Global mediators are organising a peace conference in southwest France on May 4.

ETA: Basque Separatist Group Disbands After Decades Of Conflict