France: Basque separatists Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) deliver weapons inventory to French police on Disarmament Day
The Basque separatist group ETA has given the French police a list of 12 arms caches in southwestern France under its unilateral initiative to disarm, informed sources told AFP on Saturday.
The caches are located in the departments, or counties, of the Gers, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées, they said. The French interior ministry said that the so-called “Disarmament Day” was “incontestably important” and a “major step”.
ETA announced earlier this week that it would hand over all its remaining weapons by Saturday, a move bringing the final curtain down on its armed campaign for a Basque homeland.
The group, founded in 1959, has been blamed for the deaths of 829 people in a string of bombings and shootings dating back to 1968.
In 2011, it announced that it had abandoned its armed campaign.
It has more recently sought to negotiate its dissolution in exchange for amnesties or improved prison conditions for roughly 350 of its members held in Spain and France, and for current members living under cover.