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News Alert: At least seven people killed in Adama, Chiro as protests engulf Oromia following the killing of prominent Oromo artist

Thousands of mourners gathered around the Hospital when authorities were escorting the body of the late Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Image: Social Media

Addis Abeba, June 30/2020 – At least seven people were killed by bullet in Adama city, some 100 km east of Addis Abeba, and one of Oromia region’s largest city, Chiro town, in eastern Ethiopia in Oromia after protests have erupted in several parts of the region following last night’s killing of prominent Oromo singer and songwriter Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

Dr. Mekonnen Feyisa, Medical Director of Adama Hospital, told BBC Amharic that five people have died of bullet injuries, 75 people from the city were also injured and a further 19 injured people were brought in from Dhera, some 25 km further south of Adama. Dr. Mekonnen said some of the patients have burn injuries.

The BBC Amharic also said at least two people were killed in Chiro town, in eastern Ethiopia of Oromia regional state.

Earlier today, Dr. Desalegn Fekadu, a surgeon at the same hospital told AFP that there were “a lot of casualties, most of them are bullet injuries.”

Widely known for his political resistance songs, Haacaaluu was gunned down last night in Akaki Kality Sub City, Wereda 4, near Galan Condominium site, at approximately 3:30 PM local time, Police Commission Commissioner Getu Argaw told state broadcaster EBC. He was killed by unknown assailants and was pronounced dead after arriving at Tirunesh Beijing General Hospital, in the southern outskirts of Addis Abeba city.

Several protests erupted in various parts of Oromia regional state overnight as thousands of young people came out to the streets to express their anger over the death of an artist who is considered as an icon of the Oromo people’s struggle during the four years anti-government protests that eventually brought in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to power.

Thousands of his fans descended upon the hospital where his body was at this morning to pay their tribute but that eventually led to confrontations between mourners and security forces as the former prevented the later from escorting to body to Ambo city, 125 km west of Addis Abeba where Haacaaluu was from. Mourners wanted the singer to be laid to rest in Addis Abeba.

Authorities have then escorted the body to the Oromo Cultural Center, in the center of the Addis Abeba. But afterwards the body is escorted again back to Ambo, where it is currently at his parents’ place.

In the hours that followed, protests escalated and spread through various parts of Oromia prompting the state controlled Ethio Telecom to shut down the internet lines and telephone networks in most parts of the country.

Sporadic information and pictures filtering through network blockades from various parts of Oromia, including major cities Shashemene, Jimma, and Nekemte, show protesting youth on the streets burning tyres and blocking roads.

These pictures taken from social media activities purportedly show protesters after they toppled down the statue of Ras Makonnen in Harar city. AS cannot verify the authenticity of the pictures as of yet.

In Harar, the capital of Harari regional state, protesters have toppled down an equestrian statue of Ras Makonnen (1852 – 1906), who was the father of Emperor Haile Selassie I, and was the first governor of the city of Harar. Addis Standard cannot independently verify the news. AS


Editor’s Note: We would like to kindly inform our readers that at the moment getting regular updates on events unfolding around Oromia regional state is extremely difficult due to sporadic network.

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