At Least 52 Killed in Ethiopia Protests Over Singers Death

ADDIS ABABA—At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopias Oromiya region in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on July 1, laying bare splits in the prime ministers political heartland ahead of next years polls.

Musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead on Monday night in what police said was a targeted killing.

Protests reflecting anger at the killing of a popular figure and a sense of political marginalization broke out the next morning in the capital and other towns and cities in the surrounding Oromiya region.

The dead included protesters and members of the security forces, spokesman Getachew Balcha said. Some businesses had also been set on fire.

“We were not prepared for this,” he said.

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ETHIOPIA-PROTESTS-1
Shoppers are seen outside a grocery store in the Kasanchiz area of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 1, 2020. (Maheder Haileselassie/Reuters)

Police said late on Tuesday that a policeman was also killed in Addis Ababa, and three explosions there had killed and injured an unspecified number of people.

Prominent Oromo opposition leader Bekele Gerba and media mogul Jawar Mohammed were also arrested when Jawars bodyguards refused to disarm during a stand-off with police.

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A mechanic works inside his opened garage store after protests which disrupted business, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 1, 2020. (Maheder Haileselassie/Reuters)

Haacaaluu, whose funeral will be held Thursday, provided a soundtrack to a generation of young protesters. Their three years of bloody street demonstrations forced the unprecedented resignation of the previous prime minister and the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.

Abiy, Haacaaluu, and Jawar are all Oromo, Ethiopias largest ethnic group, whichRead More – Source