Basque Separatists ETA are “ready to disband”
After more than four decades, 800 deaths and a wealth of political furore, ETA, the Basque political group have agreed to begin negotiations to enter into a ceasefire, hand over their weapons and seek a democratic end to their journey.
Situated on the borderlands between France and Spain, ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) have been fighting to have their homeland of Batasuna recognised as its own free state. Over the course of their crusade, they have been deemed a terrorist organisation by the EU and US for their violent actions and attacks.
However, last year they proclaimed the end of the use of violence as a means to acquire their freedom and the goals they had been trying to achieve for the past 40 years.
The Spanish government has been linked to negotiations with ETA several times over the past few years. Nevertheless, they have always been hesitant to enter into any serious talks without the promise of ETA disbanding and handing over their weapons.
While this is a request that has finally been agreed to, there are certain demands that the ETA still feel need to be met.
The group is demanding either the release or transfer of comrades who have been imprisoned during their political campaign to Basque country. The Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz made a statement this afternoon claiming that they are unwilling to meet these demands. “The only statement we expect and demand is for its unconditional dissolution,” he said. “They know we have not negotiated and won’t negotiate at all with a terrorist organisation.”
ETA have lost a considerable amount of faith and influence in the past few years as a large number of their leaders have been imprisoned or killed. Whether or not they will bow to the strict demands of the Spanish government remains to be seen. With talks ongoing, there is still hope for a final peaceful resolution.