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Eta calls definitive end to armed conflict

Basque separatist group Eta has called a definitive cessation to its armed campaign.

Relatives of people killed by the Basque armed group ETA protest with several books with the history of more than eight hundred people killed by ETA, during the International Conference in San Sebastian, northern Spain on Monday.
Relatives of people killed by the Basque armed group ETA protest with several books with the history of more than eight hundred people killed by ETA, during the International Conference in San Sebastian, northern Spain on Monday.
Image: Alvaro Barrientos/AP/Press Association Images

BASQUE TERRORIST GROUP Eta has said it has brought its campaign of violence to an end.

In a statement to the BBC, the separatist group called a “definitive cessation” to its bombings and shootings.

The 40-year-old conflict has seen more than 800 people killed.

Eta has also called on the Spanish and French governments to respond to their permanent ceasefire with a “process of direct dialogue”.

Previous attempts at peace talks between the governments and the Basque separatist movement have come to abrupt endings after the group broke “permanent” ceasefires.

The group had called a permanent ceasefire in January 2010 but has not since engaged in any peace talks.

The Spanish government is particularly cautious following the breaking of a ceasefire with an airport bombing in 2006. Two people were killed in the incident.

The statement comes after a conference held in the Basque Country earlier this week. Irish politicians, including Gerry Adams and Bertie Ahern, attended talks in which the Northern Irish model was used as an example of a successful peace process.

The decision has been welcomed by Adams, who reiterated calls for the governments of Spain and France to agree to talks with Eta.

Here is Eta’s statement in full:

Eta, socialist revolutionary Basque organisation of national liberation, desires through this declaration to announce its decision:

Eta considers that the international conference held recently in the Euskal Herria [Basque Country] is an initiative of great political transcendence. The agreed resolution brings together the ingredients for an integrated solution to the conflict and has the support of large sectors of Basque society and of the international community.

In Euskal Herria, a new political age is opening. We face a historic opportunity to obtain a just and democratic solution to the age-old political conflict.

Faced with violence and repression, dialogue and agreement must characterise the new age. The recognition of Euskal Herria and respect for popular will must prevail over any imposition. This is the will of the majority of Basque citizens.

The struggle of many years has created this opportunity. It has not been an easy road. The rawness of the struggle has claimed many companions forever. Others are suffering jail or exile. To these our recognition and heartfelt homage. From here on, the road will not be easy either. Facing the imposition which still remains, every step, every achievement, will be fruit of the effort and struggle of Basque citizens. Throughout the years Euskal Herria has accumulated the experience and strength necessary to tackle this road and it also has the determination to do it.

It is time to look to the future with hope, it is also time to act with responsibility and valour.

Because of all this, Eta has decided on the definitive cessation of its armed activity. Eta makes a call to the governments of Spain and France to open a process of direct dialogue which has as its aim the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and thus the conclusion of the armed conflict. With this historic declaration, Eta demonstrates its clear, firm and definitive purpose.

Eta finally calls on Basque society to get involved in this process until peace and liberty are achieved.

Long live the free Euskal Herria, Long live Basque socialism, no rest until independence and socialism.

In Euskal Herria, 20 October 2011

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna


Read: Adams and Ahern in Spain for talks on Basque separatism>

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