France: Peacemakers hail ‘historic’ end of Basque separatists ETA

The disbandment of the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) marks an 'historic moment for Europe' Jonathan Powell, mediator for the end of the Basque conflict, announced in Cambo-les-Bains on Friday. Peacemakers and international mediators held a peace conference in Villa Arnaga to celebrate the dismantlement of the separatist group. «Deep wounds remain, families and communities... Еще are still divided, further efforts need to be made to recognize and assist all victims,» said Powell in a statement. He said that resorting to 'security measures and prison, rarely proves successful,' adding that 'peace is not a zero-sum game, but a matter of political consent, where both sides agree to pursue their aims peacefully, politically and democratically.' Between 1968 and 2010, over 800 people are thought to have been killed by ETA ('Basque Homeland and Freedom'), as they aimed to establish an independent Basque state. The group announced a permanent ceasefire in 2011 and began disarming last year. More recently, ETA apologised to victims and their families. According to the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, former ETA members will not receive immunity. «Its crimes won't go away, nor will the efforts of our legal system to pursue them and punish them come to an end,» he said.

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