Nepal | August 04, 2020

At least 52 killed in Ethiopia protests over singer’s death

Reuters
Share Now:

ADDIS ABABA: At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on Wednesday, laying bare splits in the prime minister’s political heartland ahead of next year’s 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 marginalisation 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.

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 Jawar’s bodyguards refused to disarm during a stand-off with police.

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, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which has long complained of being excluded from power.

Jawar was a prominent supporter of Abiy’s appointment, but became more openly critical last year. Jawar’s popular Oromo Media Network gives him the ability to mobilise support quickly across Oromiya and his power base could pose a significant challenge to Abiy’s party in next year’s elections.

Ethiopia’s federal structure means power was traditionally derived by claiming the support of large ethnic voting blocs. Under the previous administration, voting was rarely free or fair and opposition activists were often jailed, torture or driven into exile.

Abiy has allowed much greater political freedoms and promised the next polls will be free and fair. But his new ruling party, based on a pan-Ethiopian vision, faces stiff competition from newly emboldened regional powerbrokers like Jawar determined to stake claims for their people after decades of repression.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

In Pictures: Silent Kumbheshwor mela on Janai Purnima

Lalitpur, August 03 The natural spring at the Kumbheshwor temple complex is believed to have originated from Gosaikunda Lake in Rasuwa district. It is also believed that taking a dip in the pond during Janai Purnima is same as doing so in Gosainkunda. On the occasion of Kumbeshwor Mela or Janai P Read More...

Local herb production declines in Bajura

BAJURA: Production of local herbs has dropped with the possible extinction of endangered species and vegetation in Bichchhaya area located in Himali Rural Municipality ward 1,2 and 3 of Bajura district. The district is famous for locally grown herbs. However, of late, many such plants are on the Read More...

Afghanistan

Mass jailbreak in Afghanistan, at least 24 die in Islamic State attack

JALALABAD: A gunbattle between Islamic State fighters and Afghan security forces raged at a prison in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Monday, with at least 24 people killed after the militants' overnight assault led to a mass jailbreak. The attack began on Sunday evening with car bomb detona Read More...

Landslides kill 10 in Nepal as heavy rains take toll in South Asia

KATHMANDU/DHAKA: Heavy rain in Nepal triggered landslides on Monday that killed eight labourers at a construction site and two members of a family, taking the toll in floods and landslides to 177 since late May. Elsewhere in South Asia, the annual rainy season brought more misery with at least 1 Read More...

Resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Nepal as 418 new cases surface on Monday, tally reaches 20,750

KATHMANDU: As many as 418 new coronavirus infection cases have surfaced on Monday, taking the nationwide count to 20,750. The new infections were confirmed after testing 7,637 specimens through PCR method across the nation in the last 24 hours. As of today, 398,907 PCR tests have been carried out Read More...

Enough is Enough campaigner Iih hospitalised following health issues

KATHMANDU: Social activist and initiator of ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign, Iih, 26, who has been on fast-unto-feath satyagraha at Basantapur for 17 days, has been admitted to a hospital. Iih was taken to HAMS Hospital today after his health started deteriorating owing to over two-week-long stri Read More...

Over 116 villages at risk of being swept away by landslides in Bajura

BAJURA: More than 116 villages are at the risk of being swept away by landslides triggered by incessant rain in Bajura district. According to Bajura District Administration Office, the villages located in nine local levels of the district face imminent risk of landslides. Disaster Preparedness Read More...

India refutes reports on prohibition of Nepalis' 'illegal' entry to Kalapani, Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Gunji

KATHMANDU: Indian authorities in Uttarakhand have rejected the reports on India's correspondence with Nepal's Darchula District Administration Office seeking prohibition on entry of Nepalis to Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Gunji. Indian side Dharchula's Sub-District Magistrate Anil Kumar S Read More...