Basque separatist group ETA formally declared its dissolution Thursday, marking the definitive end to western Europe's last armed insurgency.
Created in 1959 at the height of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, ETA was blamed for hundreds of killings and kidnappings in its fight for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France.
In what it said was its final statement, the group announced it had "completely dismantled all its structures" and "put an end to all its political activity".
The statement was released to international media and was also read out at the lakeside Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, which for the past 15 years has been involved in mediating the Basque conflict.
ETA was blamed for the deaths of at least 829 people during its armed campaign. The group's highest-profile killing was that of Franco's prime minister and heir apparent, Luis Carrero Blanco, in a Madrid car bombing in 1973.
Weakened in recent years by the arrest of its leaders, ETA announced a permanent ceasefire in 2011 and began formally surrendering its arms last year.
ETA had already announced that it would be fully disbanding in a letter leaked Wednesday and addressed to various groups and figures involved in recent peace efforts.
International mediators will hold a peace conference in southwest France tomorrow. Irish former Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams and representatives of several Spanish political parties are expected to attend.
Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier on Thursday dismissed the planned announcement of ETA's disbanding as "noise and propaganda" and vowed there would be "no impunity" for the group's crimes.
A partial apology by the separatist group last month in which it acknowledged the harm done and apologised to some of its victims – but not to those it considered legitimate targets such as police – has done little to temper the criticism.
The director of the Spanish branch of Amnesty International, Esteban Beltran, said ETA's disappearance "does not reduce one bit" the group's responsibility to help clear up its unsolved crimes.
Apart from ETA victims, there were also at least 62 separatists killed by far-right groups and death squads backed by members of Spain's security forces. According to a December report commissioned by the Basque regional government, more than 4,100 complaints of police torture were made between 1960 and 2014.