Ethiopia: Nearly 100 Killed in Protest Over the Death of Famous Singer

A group of protesters were seen running through the streets of Ambo, Oromia region in 2018

(RB), The Ethiopia government shut down the internet on Wednesday as millions of citizens moved to the streets over the death of an influential singer, Hachalu Hundessa.

The 34 years old famous singer was shot in his car on Monday night in the nation’s capital (Addis Ababa). He died several hours later in the hospital. The killers are yet to be identified.

According to Addis Ababa police chief, the motives behind the killing of the singer were not known immediately. A massive investigation is being carried out to establish his death.

Known for his influential songs, one in particular that pushed the former Ethiopia prime minister to step down, paving the way for democracy in Ethiopia.

In the Oromia region, the police chief told Agence France-Presse that 81 people were killed for the last two days, as security force and protesters clashed. The situation is speculating as a couple of explosions were apparently reported on Tuesday in the capital, Addis Ababa. The number of people injured or died in the protest was not detailed.  

Protest continues in several cities across the country over the death of the singer throughout Wednesday.

The protest quickly turned into a political campaign as several deaths were reported in Ambo, a town few kilometres away from the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa. Protesters chanting “Abiy is our enemy” were seen moving in large numbers across the Oromia region.

“Security forces tried to grab the body, and we fought with them to prevent them,” Moti Hundessa, a cousin to Hachalu said. “Then they began shooting at us”, according to The Washington Post on Wednesday.

The singer belonged to the country’s largest ethnic group, Oromo. His death triggered now what is already described as “ethnic grievances” that continue to threaten Ethiopia’s path to democracy and unity.

Hachalu Hundessa: 'Eighty-one killed' in protests over Ethiopian ...
Hachalu Hundessa, Reuters

Despite the current prime minister held from Oromia, the region continues to insist to break away from Ethiopia.

Dr. Abiy won the last year’s (October 2019) Noble Peace Prize for his much efforts that bring his neighbouring country, Eritrea into the table to end decades of conflict. He is a halt as a hero. Loved by many Ethiopians, but loathed by dense population in his birthplace, Oromia region.

The prime minister said on Tuesday that the killing of the singer is an act instigated by the enemies of Ethiopia both within and outside.

 “This is an act committed and inspired by domestic and foreign enemies in order to destabilize our peace and to stop us from achieving things that we started”, Abiy said without providing shreds of evidence to back his claims.  

According to Oromia Media Network (OMN), a prominent media outlet founded by the opposing figure, Jawar Mohammad, announced that the Opposition leader was arrested alongside Bekele Gerba. Their arrest was connected with an argument over the burial of the singer’s body.

 Addressing thousands of supporters before the internet was shut down, the sensational Jawar, decried that, “They did not just kill Hachalu. They shot at the heart of the Oromo Nation, once again !! . . . You can kill us, all of us, you can never ever stop us!! NEVER !!” immediately, it was followed by an uproar across the country.

The famous political activist turned political leader projected by millions of Oromia citizens as a “saviour” warned last year in October that any move by the government of Dr. Abiy against him will create a bloody violent, and Abiy is to be blamed.

Ramciel Broadcasting does not own the copyright to the images used in this report but using it rather for informative purposes.

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