Protests Erupt in Ethiopia After Popular Musician Killed
By Samuel Gebre
- Haacaalu Hundeessa was a popular voice of Oromo protests
- Authorities cut Internet to curb protests, rights group says
(bloomberg)—Protests erupted in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and other parts of the country after a prominent musician of the Oromo ethnic group was shot dead.
Haacaalu Hundeessa died Monday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Addis Ababa, Getu Argaw, the city’s police commissioner said on state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp. The singer and songwriter was a popular voice in protests by the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, for reforms in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that led to the rise of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.
“We have lost a precious life,” Abiy said in a statement on his official Facebook page. “We are aware of the magnitude of this action and are paying attention to the activities in the country. Let’s express our grief by protecting ourselves and preventing any further crime.”
The protesters that marched through Addis Ababa were mainly young people grieving the dead musician. Protests were also reported elsewhere in the Oromia region.
The authorities shut down the Internet to curb the protests from spreading, Berhan Taye of the New York-based digital-rights advocacy group Access Now said by phone from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Internet access was cut starting 6 a.m. on Tuesday, she said