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Spanish militant group to disarm fully
© Reuters

Spanish Eta militant group ‘to disarm fully’

17/03/17Defence

Sources close to Basque separatists and the Spanish government have said that the militant group Eta has resolved to disarm fully by 8 April.

A pro-Basque independence and environmental group called Bizi has been given responsibility for the disarmament, according to one activist speaking to France’s Le Monde.

Eta declared a ceasefire in 2011 but is yet to surrender its weapons.

The group have killed more than 800 people over four decades of violence.

It was set up more than 50 years ago in the era of Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco to fight for an independent Basque homeland.

However, in recent years it has been weakened by the arrest of hundreds of members, including leadership figures, and the seizure of weapons caches.

Txetx Etcheverry, an activist with Bizi, said: “Eta has handed us responsibility for the disarmament of its arsenal and, as of the evening of 8 April, Eta will have completely handed over its weapons.”

The 8 April date was also given by an unnamed source close to talks quoted by the AFP news agency.

No formal announcement has yet been made and the Spanish government has so far declined to make any detailed comment.

Cabinet spokesman Íñigo Méndez de Vigo said: “Eta needs to do two things – to disarm and disband.”