Ethiopia Makes Arrests in Singer’s Death That Sparked Riots

Ethiopia Makes Arrests in Singer’s Death That Sparked Riots


  • Protests have left at least 166 people dead, 4,700 arrested
  • Singer was a popular voice of previous protests in Ethiopia

(bloomberg)—Ethiopian authorities arrested two people alleged to be involved in the shooting of singer Hachalu Hundesa, whose death sparked deadly protests in the East African nation.

“Two of the suspects apprehended for their involvement in the killing have confessed to committing the crime, while a third who is directly involved in the killing is at large,” the Office of the Prime Minister said in a statement on Friday.

The shooting led to demonstrations from June 30 that left at least 166 people dead and property damaged, mainly in Oromia region. More than 4,700 people were detained for violence over the past two weeks, Negusu Tilahun, the Prime Minister’s press secretary, told Fana Broadcasting Corp. Those arrested included leading opposition members Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba.

The singer and songwriter was a popular voice during protests by the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, for reforms in the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that led to the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.

The government shut down the Internet as the protests started and it remains inaccessible except for select government officials and diplomats.

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