BASQUE separatist group ETA released a statement on Wednesday September 30 to say it “maintains its commitment” to peace after the arrest in France last week of two of its leaders.
French and Spanish police collaborated on the operation which saw David Pla, 40 and Iratxe Sorzabal, 43 arrestedin the Pyrenees village of Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry in south west France on September 22.
AFP reports that according to French police Sorzabal had been wanted for over 10 years and Pla had been on the run since 2011.
ETA’s statement was published by Basque newspaper Naiz, a traditional platform for the group, and said “Police operations in recent months have aimed to undermine the resolution process of the conflict. Despite the offensives, and because the Basque Country must continue on its way, ETA maintains its commitment to the creation of new scenarios.”
ETA announced the halting of its armed activities in 2011, however, demands from both the Spanish and French governments to hand over its weapons and dissolve the organisation have not been met.
The group entered into a unilateral disarmament programme in early 2014, in cooperation with the International Verification Commission, an independent group of experts from various countries that has not been officially recognised by the Spanish government.