Basque Separatists Confirm Disarmament Plans

Basque Separatists Confirm Disarmament PlansBasque Separatists Confirm Disarmament Plans

The Basque separatist group ETA has confirmed it will disarm on Saturday.

“’Disarmament day’ is tomorrow and we want to warn that still the process can be attacked by the enemies of peace,” the group said in a letter published in English and Spanish, and dated April 7, AFP reported.

In the note, addressed to the international community and published by the BBC late Thursday, ETA said it had given up “all its weaponry (arms and explosives) to Basque civil society representatives” and described itself as a “disarmed organization”.

The group said Bayonne, a city in the French Basque region, will be the focal point of the disarmament process where it expected thousands of people to gather on Saturday.

ETA’s confirmation comes after the head of the regional Basque government, Inigo Urkullu, said last month that the separatist group planned to fully lay down weapons by April 8.

Urkullu at the time called on the Spanish and French governments to “show ambitious vision and open direct lines of communication” with ETA.

But Madrid, a strong opponent of ETA, rebuffed the plea and instead demanded the group “dissolve” and never reappear.

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”.

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