Thousands of Basque separatist march through the streets of Bilbao
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Thousands of Basque separatist march through the streets of Bilbao

Bilbao : Spain | Oct 23, 2011 at 12:55 AM PDT
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Glimpses of the Basque Country

BILBAO, Spain (AP) - Tens of thousands of supporters of Basque separatism made a march on Saturday in the largest city in the region, two days after the armed group ETA announced that ended its armed struggle.

Several political leaders participated in the mobilization Basques in Bilbao, which were signs that said "The Basque region need solutions," referring to the aspirations for greater regional autonomy.

Some protesters shouted requesting the transfer of ETA prisoners to prisons located in the Basque region.

Speakers include Pella Urizar, Eusko party's general secretary Alkatasuna, who urged the rulers of Spain to commit to a solution to regional tensions, as did Great Britain to end separatist violence in Northern Ireland.

ETA, which Spain, the United States and European Union consider a terrorist organization, has already held two ceasefires "permanent", but several participants in the mobilization and observers say that this time the ad is for real.

The political supporters of ETA renounced violence in 2010 in a break with the past that was much debated, and applied to the entire independence movement a shift towards an agenda strictly peaceful.

A total of 829 people have died from the shooting and bombings perpetrated by the armed Basque group in four decades.

Now ETA convened a dialogue with Spain and France on the "consequences" of the conflict, a reference to the 700 prisoners armed group remaining in estimated penalties in different parts of Spain and France. ETA seeks the creation of a state encompassing parts of southwest France.

Many demonstrators clearly supported ETA's request that its members move prisoners to the Basque region so they can be closer to their families.

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ZohaibAnwer is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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