The minimum of 81 people have been allegedly killed in Ethiopia after the death of a popular singer triggered deadly protests in the Oromia region.
Pandemoniun erupted when Hachalu Hundesa’s body was being transported to his native town of Ambo, west of Addis Ababa for burial. Mr Jawar Mohammed, a famous politician and his supporters intercepted it and tried to return it to the capital.
The Federal Police commissioner, Endeshaw Tassew, said on Tuesday that a stand-off that led to disturbance between federal security forces and others ensued and in the process one member of the Oromia special police force was killed.
Tassew revealed further that the security forces have taken eight Kalashnikovs, five pistols and nine radio transmitters from Jawar Mohammed’s bodygaurds.
A police Chief in the second most populous African country said thousands of fans had gathered to mourn Hundessa who was shot dead on Monday night while driving.
Police report revealed that about 35 people, including Mohammed, have been arrested but the motive for Hachalu’s killing is still hazy.
But police say they have arrested two people in connection with the killing but Hachalu had recently said that he had received death threats. He will be buried on today.
His songs focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo ethnic group.
They were on everyone’s lips in a series of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.
Mr Jawar is a media mogul who has led calls for more rights for the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, who have been politically marginalised by previous governments.