Three killed during protests over killing of well-known singer in Ethiopia

Joanna Estrada
July 1, 2020

Police are investigating his death.

Law enforcers in a statement said the singer was shot dead late Monday in Gelan Condominium area, a southeastern suburb of the capital Addis Ababa.

Mr Abiy called for calm following the killing of the musician whose political songs were the soundtrack of the protest movement that propelled the prime minister to power two years ago.

It also said there was a protest outside the U.S. embassy.

"More than an entertainer" Hachalu was more than just a singer and entertainer. "They said their houses were set on fire".

At the height of the anti-government protests, Hachalu gave a concert at Millennium Hall, a large conference centre in Addis Ababa, singing songs that spoke to concerns among the Oromo that they had been economically and politically marginalised.

In one of his most famous songs, he sang: "Do not wait for help to come from outside, a dream that doesn't come true. Several were injured while on the side of the perpetrators, several were injured and several others were killed". Six died en route to the hospital and two died in intensive care.

Thousands of his fans descended upon the hospital where his body was at this morning to pay their tribute but that eventually led to confrontations between mourners and security forces as the former prevented the later from escorting to body to Ambo city, 125 km west of Addis Abeba where Haacaaluu was from.

The internet was also shut down in parts of the country as protests spread in Oromia regional state.

In the eastern city of Harar, protesters have pulled down a statue of a royal prince - Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael - who was the father of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia's last emperor.

In a recent interview with local TV station Oromia Media Network, Hachalu had said that people should remember that all the horses seen mounted by old leaders belonged to the people.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted condolences to Hachalu's family and friends on Tuesday, adding that an investigation is underway but urged his citizens to keep the peace.

Demonstrations broke out in response to the news of the musician's death. While Abiy's rule has ushered in greater political and economic freedoms, it's also led to an increase in unrest in a country made up of more than 80 ethnic groups.

Hundesssa's ballads such as "Maalan Jira" ("What existence is mine") and "Jirraa" ("We are here"), he expressed the struggle and frustrations of Oromo protesters but equally their hopes for a brighter future.

Demonstrations erupted in 2016 and pressure built on the government.

That's enraged youths who burned tyres in the capital and took to the streets in other cities - unrest spreading through the heartlands of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's support.

He has brought in a series of reforms, which have transformed what was considered a very oppressive state.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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