Declaration from the Seventh-day Adventists’ European Region President on the recent announcements of the end of wars and violence
In celebration of the announcement about the end of violence perpetrated by ETA in Spain for more than 50 years, Bruno Vertallier, President of the Seventh-day Adventists’ European Region, expresses his approval for this achieved objective.
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe rejoices with the Spanish nation,” declares President Vertallier, “that after so many years of challenges and internal uncertainty ETA has decided to promote peace, thus saving precious human lives.” He applauds the courageous people, on both sides, who made this decision for peace possible.
ETA, Basque acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, which means “Basque Homeland and Freedom,” was an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization promoting traditional culture with the goal of gaining independence. This paramilitary group was a proscribed terrorist organization because of more than 50 years of perpetrated violence.
On October 20, 2011 ETA announced a definitive cessation of its armed activity.
"In a year full of turmoil, violence and wars, where thousands of human beings have lost their lives to defend peace and freedom, the cessation of armed violence by ETA in Spain is extremely significant," said President Vertallier. This news is made even more positive by the announcement of the U.S. President Barak Obama regarding the end of the war in Iraq and the end of the conflicts in Libya.
However, the images we have seen in these last days showing the capture and execution of Muammar Gaddafi, invite all parties to engage in a constructive dialogue in order to fully restore the reconciliation in Libya. “Seventh-day Adventists do not believe in armed conflict and violence as a means of achieving respect for their rights,” said Bruno Vertallier. “We prayerfully urge those who are called to sit at the negotiating table, to use common sense and explore peaceful and democratic means and, above all, to defend the value of human lives.”