At least 81,mostly peaceful civilians,killed in Ethiopia

Mob protest targeting defenseless people in Oromo region of Ethiopia with the pretext of protest over Hachalu Hundessa death

Hachalu Hundessa. Photo : from YouTube channel

July 1, 2020

Within less than a year after more than 86 Ethiopians were massacred in the Oromo region of Ethiopia following Jawar Mohammed’s Social Media status update about concern for his safety, a similar carnage has happened in several towns in the same part of Ethiopia in the past few days.

Ethiopian government officials have admitted that so far 81 people are killed including in the capital Addis Ababa following the death of Hachalu Hundessa.  Three of the victims are said to be police officers and seven people were killed in the capital Addis Ababa.

There are concerns that the number could be much higher than what government authorities reported. In what is said to be an attempt to control further protests, the government has shut the internet across the country.

Bale, Assela, Shasheme, Ambo, Nazret (Adama), and Nekemte are some of the towns where there were protests following the death of Hachalu Hundessa’s killing on Monday in the evening in the capital Addis Ababa.  Apart from killings, properties belonging to non-ethic oromo Ethiopians were attacked. In Shashemene, for example, long distance running legend, Haile Gebreselassie’ hotel was vandalized.

Other sources reported that members of defense forces are deployed in the capital Addis Ababa, and there was relative calm in the city.

According to citizens’ reports on social media, Ethiopians from non-Oromo ethnic communities were targeted in the attack. Seniors Ethiopians as old as 70 years of age are reported to be killed in Assela -among other cities.

In Ambo town, the birthplace of Hachalu Hundessa and where his funeral will take place on Thursday, there was a clash between government security forces and “protestors” who demanded to take the body of Hachalu Hundessa back to Addis Ababa – where they want him to be laid to rest.  It happened on Wednesday in the afternoon.

A report by DW Amharic confirmed the incident but the exact number of casualties from the incident is unknown. It is, however, believed that at least nine people have sustained a serious injury.

The singer’s uncle, whose name is unspecified, is reportedly killed during a confrontation between security forces and protestors. The government claims that he was killed by armed protestors.

Jawar Mohammed’s guard killed a policeman in Addis Ababa, says police

The Federal Police disclosed the preliminary findings of investigations into protest incidents which are sparked by controversy over Hachalu Hundessa’s resting place.

The claim on the part of Ethiopian government security officials is that there was a planned insurrection in the capital Addis Ababa aimed at toppling the government.

Based on the police report, the controversy over Hachalu’s resting place ( and government claims that the singer’s parents and family have expressed their wish for Ambo to be the resting place for the body) was a strategy to implement the objective to put an end to the government by killing some of the government authorities.

After intercepting the coffin on its way to Ambo, police said protestors brought the body at Oromo cultural center in the capital Addis Ababa where government authorities were having a meeting at the time – said police.

Jawar Mohammed was part of the protest along with his armed bodyguards. A policeman who was on duty in the cultural center was shot dead by Jawar’s guards, said Federal Police.  It is also claimed that the police did not respond to the gunfire. But it said it has seized several firearms including 8 AK 47 from the bodyguards.

Also, Police said that thirty-five people, including Jawar Mohammed, are arrested. Bekele Gerba, who is a member of leadership of Oromo Federalist Congress, is confirmed to be one of those arrested. The party said on Wednesday that they are arrested in Maekelawi in the capital Addis Ababa.

Oromo regional State Communications affairs head Getachew Balcha told VOA Amharic service that “those who coordinated the killings and the events after planned to create a clash between ethnic groups and religions.” Without naming names, he referred to them as forces “removed from power” though popular struggle. The description connoted Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Extremist Oromo nationalist activists

Extremist Oromo nationalist activists based in the Diaspora are accused of painting a wrong image of the culprits behind Hachalu Hundessa’s killing.

In consequence, innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the killing in several towns in Oromo regional state are massacred.

Outside of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian embassy in London was attacked. The statue of Emperor Haile Selassie at the Ethiopian embassy in London was demolished. The official Ethiopian government flag was removed and replaced with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) flag.

Conversations on social media indicate that Ethiopians are organizing to hold activists propagating hate speech and inciting violence from a distance accountable.

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