Interview with the South African lawyer Brian Currin published in the newspaper DEIA on March 2nd, 2014. The South African lawyer who heads the International Contact Group has recently been in the Basque Country participating in the Social Forum which took place in Bayonne.

What do you think about the evolution of the process?

If we leave aside the lack of participation by the governments of Madrid and Paris, in general lines the process is moving well. There is progress on the issue of decommissioning, which is something important. There is also a sustained participation on the part of organizations from civil society, which is also very important. I think they are doing things at different levels: the implication of the prisoners, the groups of victims, attempts at reconciliation…

Disappointed?

Yes, we are for the attitude of Paris and Madrid, but we can’t let them veto the progress of the peace process. For that there exist forums like this, because the people of the Basque Country are saying that its our conflict, our peace process and we are going to assure ourselves that it continues. Because we believe, and I include myself, that if we continue working we’ll be able to transform the terrain so that neither Madrid nor Paris can stop this wave of transformation and peace and they have to implicate themselves.

What do you think about the evolution of the other requirements that ETA is making, such as the recognition of the damage caused?

I see that some openings are being produced. The political parties are beginning to speak to one another about delicate questions. But time is needed because there are feelings involved and human emotions. But, in general, I see that this is also taking root and is occurring.

And decommissioning? What opinion do you have of the gesture made by ETA a few days ago under the supervision of the International Verification Commission?

They have to go further. At some moment the state actors must implicate themselves. Because, as someone has said, if ETA wants to disarm, but the governments don’t participate, to whom do they turn over their weapons, where do they go? If they turn them over to an independent non-governmental group of international verifiers, what do they do with the weapons? They can’t take them out of the country. They can’t return them to ETA. They can’t give them to criminals, they have to give them to the state. So at some moment the state will have to be involved.