Murder of Singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa Triggers Deadly Protests, Net Blackout in Ethiopia

Murder of Singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, inset,Triggers Deadly Protests, Net Blackout in Ethiopia

Somalilandsun: Violent demonstrations have broken out in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after Hachalu Hundessa, a hugely popular Oromo protest singer was killed by unidentified gunmen, police said on Tuesday.

Hundessa was shot late Monday night in the Gelan Condominiums area of Addis Ababa, police told the state-affiliated broadcaster Fana. The singer was rushed to hospital but died later of his wounds.

The 34-year-old was known for political songs in support of the ethnic Oromo group’s fight against repression.

Despite being Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromos have long complained of being marginalised, both economically and politically.

Hundessa was a prominent artist during the successful three-year anti-government demonstrations before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, an Oromo, came into power.

In his letter of condolence, Abiy said “we lost a loved soul,” and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. It is not yet known who was responsible for the shooting.

A TV station owned by a prominent Oromo opponent of Abiy, media tycoon Jawar Mohammed, said police had arrested Jawar after his bodyguards refused to disarm. Bekele Gerba, a leader of an opposition Oromo political party, was also arrested, the station said.

The station was forced to broadcast by satellite from the U.S. state of Minnesota after police raided its headquarters and detained its staff, it said.

in the meantime Internet access has been cut nationwide, the Access Now group has confirmed. A number of activists have also confirmed the development.

Ethiopia has in the past taken the same route of blocking the internet. One of the most recent being a year ago when the federal government reported having thwarted a coup d’etat in the northern Amhara region.