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Report: Spain’s ETA Group to Fully Lay down Arms by April 8 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man walks past graffiti and an ETA symbol in the Basque town of Guernica, Spain. (Reuters)

Spain’s Basque separatist group ETA reportedly has plans to fully lay down its weapons by April 8, a source close to disarmament initiative said Friday.

As part of the agreement, ETA would provide the authorities with the location of its arms stockpiles, the source said.

“There is an initiative that has a date: April 8,” the source told AFP.

Europa Press news agency reported that ETA’s declaration is aimed at speeding the stalled process, it said citing sources close to the disarmament initiative.

The Basque government said regional leader Inigo Urkullu was due to comment on the news at 2 p.m. (1300 GMT). Spain’s Interior Ministry declined to comment.

“ETA has handed us responsibility for the disarmament of its arsenal and, as of the evening of April 8, ETA will have completely handed over its weapons,” Txetx Etcheverry, an activist with environmental campaign group Bizi, was quoted as saying in France’s Le Monde newspaper. Bizi is a pro-Basque independence association.

ETA, which has killed more than 800 people over several decades through bombings and assassinations, called a unilateral ceasefire in 2011 and has pledged to turn in its weapons, though a full handover has not yet happened.

The group has been severely weakened in recent years after hundreds of its members, including its leader, were arrested and police seized several of its weapons stashes.

ETA was formed in the late 1950s during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco with the aim of establishing an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.