[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Russian
Polish
Albanian
Greek
Serbian
Turkish
More
Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 11:55 GMT
Corsican militants call ceasefire
FLNC press conference
Some 20 masked fighters were present at the press conference
The main separatist rebel group on the island of Corsica has announced a suspension of its campaign of violence.

Journalists were taken to a secret location in the mountains where armed, masked militants announced the move.

A member of the Corsican National Liberation Front Combatants' Union, which is against French rule, said the suspension was without conditions.

The campaign of violence aimed at winning independence for Corsica has lasted three decades.

Elections

The militants' spokesman, flanked by 20 armed and masked fighters, told the press conference: "We realise that it is our duty to create the definitive conditions of a strategic national union which will carry the hopes and the seeds of peace."

The group said it was conscious of the need to create a union of all pro-independence groups in Corsica.

Other pro-independence factions have condemned the use of violence in pursuit of political goals.

The militant group's political wing had already called for a full ceasefire in the run-up to local elections which are scheduled to take place across France next March.

The French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, has promised to crack down on the militants and try to choke off what he calls their mafia-style funding sources.

The campaign of violence aimed at winning independence for Corsica has lasted three decades.

But violent attacks intensified during the summer after the French government was defeated in a referendum offering limited autonomy to the island.


SEE ALSO:
Minister calms Corsica fears
01 Sep 03  |  Europe
France pledges Corsica security
28 Aug 03  |  Europe
Corsica militants 'admit' blasts
21 Jul 03  |  Europe
Turbulent Corsica spurns autonomy
12 Jul 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent
Eight jailed for Corsica killing
11 Jul 03  |  Europe
Corsicans reject autonomy offer
06 Jul 03  |  Europe
Profile: Corsica
14 Nov 03  |  Country profiles


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific