The Basque terrorist group ETA “has carried out the dismantling of the logistics and operational structures related to the armed struggle,” the Naiz.info Web site, the online version of the independent Basque newspaper Gara, reported Sunday, citing a statement from the organization.
“ETA reveals that it is creating a technical-logistics structure whose job will be to complete the sealing off of the armaments” reported to the so-called International Verification Commission on March 1 and is “willing” to put “the arms and explosives out of operational use,” Naiz.info said in a curtain-raiser published Saturday.
The Gara newspaper is considered an ETA mouthpiece and has published major announcements from the terrorist group in the past.
ETA “will reinforce the structure dedicated to carrying out political work,” but “the rest of the organizations of the left ... and the popular movement” will have to “assume the leadership,” Naiz.info said.
ETA plans to keep in place “the necessary structures to guarantee the internal functioning of the organization,” and all the supporters “will be organized to fit these new tasks and structures,” Naiz.info said.
The statement dated July 15 coincided with the visit to Spain’s Basque region by Jonathan Powell and Martin McGuinness, who are members of the International Verification Commission overseeing the terrorist group’s disarmament.
Powell was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, while McGuinness serves as deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and is a leader of the Sinn Fein party.
Spanish Interior Ministry spokesmen told Efe that the ETA statement “does not contain anything new” and the government was awaiting the group’s “unconditional disbandment and the dismantling of all its criminal structures.”
ETA, an acronym for the Basque language words for Homeland and Freedom, has killed nearly 900 people since taking up arms in the 1960s to seek a Basque nation comprising parts of northern Spain and southern France.
The terrorist group declared a unilateral cease-fire in October 2011.