Skip to main content

Corsica militant group to abandon arms

By Deborah E. Bloom, CNN
updated 8:10 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
The FLNC-UC, a branch of the separatist group, announces in November 2003 that it will suspend its military actions.
The FLNC-UC, a branch of the separatist group, announces in November 2003 that it will suspend its military actions.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Militant group will accept its identity as a French territory, the group says
  • The separatist group has sought independence since 1976

(CNN) -- After nearly 40 years, a militant group on the island of Corsica says it is abandoning its armed struggle for independence from France.

The banned National Liberation Front of Corsica, also known an FLNC, said Wednesday in a statement obtained by CNN affiliate France 3 that it had made the decision with no preconditions and had started the process of demilitarization.

The birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica is located in the Tyrrehenian Sea, part of the Mediterranean, between the coasts of France and Italy. It has been under French control since the 1700s.

The island has been plagued by terrorism -- including bombings, robberies, and assaults -- since 1976, with the FLNC in the throes of a long, low-intensity military campaign against French targets on the island.

In 1997, several banks and government offices were targeted in more than 50 bomb explosions in one day, for which FLNC claimed responsibility.

France's government launched a ferocious crackdown in Corsica after a top French official there was gunned down in 1998 on the street of Ajaccio. This spurred a series of nationalist protests, followed by a string of FLNC attacks against French targets.

A branch of the separatist group announced in 2003 that it would suspend its military actions. But attacks by FLNC continued, although with less frequency.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT