Basque militant group ETA effectively ended an armed separatist campaign after almost half a century on Saturday, leading French authorities to the sites where it says its caches of weapons, explosives and ammunition are hidden.

ETA, which killed more than 850 people in its attempt to carve out an independent state in northern Spain and southwest France, declared a ceasefire in 2011 but did not disarm.

Founded in 1959 out of anger among Basques at political and cultural repression under General Francisco Franco, ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna – Basque Country and Freedom) gained notoriety as one of Europe’s most intractable separatist groups. Continue reading.