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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 13:26 GMT
Second name change for Kurd group
By Nick Thorpe
BBC, Istanbul

Abdullah Ocalan, former PKK leader
Former PKK leader Ocalan is serving life in prison
An outlawed Kurdish militant group has announced its dissolution.

The Congress for Democracy and Freedom in Kurdistan (Kadek) is the successor to the PKK, which fought a 14-year war with security forces in Turkey.

Its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was arrested in 1999 and is serving a life sentence in a Turkish prison.

The statement issued by Kadek says it will be reformed to create a wider, more representative Kurdish organisation.

It says it will seek a peaceful settlement with the states of the region.

The apparent dissolution of Kadek came in a statement drafted by a congress of the organisation in northern Iraq, dated 26 October, but only just made public.

It was first published by the Mesopotamian news agency, which is based in Germany, and has been confirmed by a Kadek representative in Rome.

Remnant force

In its earlier form, the PKK, the party fought a bitter civil war in Turkey in the 1980s and '90s, which ended in 1999 with the arrest of Mr Ocalan.

The remnants of the PKK army fled to the mountains of northern Iraq, where they are still estimated to number around 5,000.

On Monday a clash between the guerrillas and US-led forces, close to the Turkish border, left one dead and several injured.

Turkey has pursued a carrot-and-stick approach to the organisation, offering a limited amnesty to allow some of those in Iraq to return home, but also urging the United States to crack down on the guerrillas.

A confidential action plan was signed by the United States and Turkey in September, but no details have been made public.




SEE ALSO:
Kurd rebels change their name
16 Apr 02  |  Europe
Turkey allows Kurdish conference
05 Nov 03  |  Europe
Turkey detains Kurd leaders
22 Sep 03  |  Europe
Kurdish rebels abandon truce
02 Sep 03  |  Europe
Rebel move 'sends mixed signals'
02 Sep 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Turkey
14 Oct 03  |  Country profiles


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