Basque handout

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					                  Geographic location of Basque
The Basques are a single people who live in two countries—northwest Spain and
southwest France. They are thought to have inhabited the southwestern corner
     of the continent since before Indo-European peoples came to the area
                         approximately 5,000 years ago

   Basque country consists of four regions on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees
(Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, Navarra, and Alava) and three on the French side (Labourd,
  Basse-Navarre, and Soule). Basques call these territories collectively, Euskal-
Herria (Land of the Basques) or Euskadi. It has been nearly a thousand year since
     these regions were unified politically. The area is geographically varied,
   containing the ridges and foothills of the Pyrenees and a short coastal plain
  along the Bay of Biscay (an inlet along the Atlantic Ocean), as well as steep,
                      narrow valleys and mountain streams

              Historic Overview of the issue or conflict
         Origin: Since Basque separatists launched their violent campaign for
          independence from Spain in 1968 over 800 people have died in the
                    conflict. Hundreds more have been imprisoned

      International efforts or ties to the conflict: They have four separate forces
       looking after them: local police, regional police, national police, plus the
         militarized corps known as the Guardia Civil. Members of some 8,000
       security services personnel operating for the Spanish National Police and
       the Guardia Civil have been able to infiltrate ETA terrorist teams, disrupt
      its arms channels and recently to intercept two huge truck bombs heading
                            for the national capital, Madrid.

                   Nations involved and their related
    In October 2003 the Basque Country government formally approved a
  plan that could make the region an autonomous state in free association
    with Spain and give it separate representation in the European Union
  (EU). The Madrid government, which had broken off all contacts with the
 Basques in 2001, opposed this action. Nonetheless, a regional referendum
 was planned for 2005 if the proposal won approval in the Basque regional
 legislature. After the central government changed in March 2004, the new
  administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero resumed discussions with
   the Basque leadership. The Basques refused to give up their autonomy
   plans but indicated a willingness to work with the Spanish government
                       toward settlement of the dispute.

 The Zapatero government was, however, adamant in its vow to crush the
  Basque separatist movement ETA. Over the years this group had taken
   responsibility for numerous assassinations and bombings throughout
  Spain. In October 2004 suspected ETA leader Mikel Albizu was arrested
  and a huge ETA arms cache was uncovered in southwestern France. The
  capture and weapons seizure were considered a severe blow to ETA. In
   March 2006, ETA to declare a cease-fire. The organization committed
   itself publicly to peaceful democratic means to secure its objectives. A
 bombing occurred at Madrid Airport in December 2006, however, causing
            the central government to suspend contacts with ETA.

   Political recommendations for the United Nations
          to consider in addressing this conflict

• Mark the land as 'independent' or give it the right to be its own nation.

                • Divide the land amongst the two parts.

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