Ethiopian PM says singer’s death part of plot to sow unrest

Abiy Ahmed

Addis Ababa (AFP) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Friday that the killing of a popular singer, and subsequent violence that has left nearly 100 dead this week, represented “coordinated attempts” to destabilise the country.

Speaking during a meeting with high-ranking officials, Abiy did not identify who he blamed for the unrest, though he vowed to hold to account those directly involved as well as “those that are pulling the strings”, according to a summary of his comments distributed by his office.

Abiy added, “Those external and internal forces who were not successful with the Great Ethiopia Renaissance Dam issue have tried their utmost efforts to create chaos at this time,” alluding to tensions with Egypt over the construction of a large Ethiopian hydropower dam.

Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, wore a military uniform during the meeting, a portion of which was broadcast on state television.

Singer Hachalu Hundessa, a member of the Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s largest, was shot dead in the capital Addis Ababa on Monday night.

Protests immediately broke out in the city and the surrounding Oromia region. Officials said that 98 people had been killed by security forces and in inter-ethnic clashes while 1,200 had been arrested amid the unrest.

Five people have been arrested in connection with Hachalu’s killing. Officials have repeatedly suggested that the Oromo Liberation Army, a rebel group, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, an opposition party, were implicated.

Abiy, who won the Nobel in part for opening up Ethiopia’s political space, on Friday said opposition groups that benefited from amnesties he granted when he came to power in 2018 were taking up arms “instead of making a winning case through ideas and policy options”, the summary provided by his office said.

“A losing mindset cannot give birth to new ideas,” it quoted Abiy as saying.

Three high-profile opposition leaders — including former media mogul Jawar Mohammed — have been arrested in connection with the unrest this week, though officials have provided few details about the cases against them.

Many businesses and government offices reopened in Addis Ababa on Friday after being closed for several days, but the internet remained shut off throughout the country for a fourth day.


  1. First and foremost the blame lies squarely with the Prime minister. It is shameful that doning a military uniform he is coming out blaming others for his total failure and incompetence. these disasters were in the cooking pot boiling for several months. The prime minister failed on several fronts
    he turned a blind eye to
    -the looting of banks,
    -Rape, murder and abduction that continued throughout the two years that the pm has stayed in power
    -burning down of businesses , homes and eviction of citizens
    -displacement of millions in Gedio, murder and looting that followed the attack on defenceless civilians by armed gangsters of olf
    -mass brutal murder in Burayo
    -displacement of people, destruction of homes and properties of citizens in and around Addis Abeba
    -Cold blood massacre and machette killings of 86 citizens in public
    -massacres and evictions in Harar, Diredadwa, Arsi and Bale, wollega regions
    -looting and burning of churches , mosques and places of worship
    the prime minister should face justice for all these crimes which happened as a result of the prime minister not doing his job as a head of state.
    it is not possible to say that the prime minister did not know or do not know about all these crimes. It only shows that he consented to all these crimes.
    There is no government to ask questions. there is no one to be charged for these crimes. It is a sign of a failed state .

    • Yebbo,

      Stop using Facebook as your main source of information, everything you wrote above is garbage! One thing i know for sure about my people is that we are so good in making someone look bad regardless of his great work or attempt. That’s what i see! Our God given PM is trying his best to unlocked some people’s head, which has been locked and out of service in most cases for very long time, and here he is getting mocked and criticized by people who doesn’t understand politics itself and Ethiopia as a country. I heard people talk about the military uniform he wore in such time, and this time i laughed so hard on the ignorance level of my Ethiopian activist or people who are talking about the uniform without understanding why he wore it. Here is what i want to say for most people who doesn’t understand Dr Abiy, Backwardness and luck of good or deep knowledge of our politics is what you need to blame, Dr Abiy knew our package and choose the best way to deal with it while strengthening Ethiopia in so many areas. Here we are after 2 years of damage on our communities across Ethiopia and enough is enough!! Denkoros and Idiots will now be treated in a very”Educational way” Forget the educational way, they will be destroyed!! I can’t wait until i see your post after all that is done. Mechem yagere sew benefesebet honual menefsew, wey eda….

  2. Utter failure!! Abiy went to Bahardar and ambushed Amhara opposition leaders that never threatened, robbed, raped, that never displaced millions of lawabiding Ethiopian citizens, that never burned businesses, government buildings, never burned Churches, Mosques and peaceful worshipers, etc., etc., etc. And yet, Abiy and his administration have been too lenient and have been looking the other way when TPLF and OLF members committing unspeakable atrocities against peaceful Ethiopians that just want to live in peace and raise their children.
    Once again, it is reported that the lawless OLF hoodlums have gone on their crime spree and burned down Shashemenae and innocent citizens:

    • Hope

      Good to see you on the same spot and same tone. Just love your country, all will be straitened soon. I still see generalization and luck of clear view for mama Ethiopia!

  3. TRL,
    Good to see you as well. My dear, the same endless miseries haven’t stopped, the same sh*t diffrent day … it is just window covering! In the last 2 years, unprecedented number of Ethiopians, over 3 millions of them have been displaced, and more continue to be displaced under Abiy’s watch … hardworking, lawabiding Ethiopians have been robbed, beaten, dicapitated, young children have been raped, young female college students have been abducted and still missing, journalists have been harassed and locked up, etc., etc., etc.
    I still believe that the highest majority of Ethiopians are good, God fearing people — it is unfortunate that hate troubles faster than a speeding bullet and spread like wildfires… and Unfortunately, love moves slow like honey and molasses. I know the majority of Oromo people are polite, peace loving Ethiopians — the ones that are causing distractions and spilling the blood of innocent Ethiopians are the few totally brainwashed desensitized hatefilled extremist OLF hoodlums!!
    Here is a message from one of our peaceloving Oromo Ethiopians:

    • Brother Hope,

      Everyone sees all those crimes on Ethiopians, but TRL believes the current government who are working day and night to solve those problems case by case then we don’t leave hate and crime for our new generation and the well being of our beautiful Ethiopia. I am sure you noticed recent moves from goverenment to put all parties or individuals behind all problems or crimes. While waiting justice for all, I am also very excited for our new and strong Ethiopia in all levels. I believe that will bring long lasting solutions then we can tap our Resources to complete against the world, why we compete locally while the world traveled very far from the very old Ethiopia with great History in so many ways. I am 100% confident with the current Ethiopian leaders who are dedicated to bring Ethiopia to the positions we never saw we had it. May God continue to bless and protect all who believes in Ethiopia.

  4. TRL,
    For the last 2, 3 years in Ethiopia, the unimaginable hatred, human cruilities, the undeniable injustices, the shocking atrocities; particularly on Amharas is undeniable — unprecedented shocking atrocities continue to be committed by BRAINWASHED EXTREMISTS; without consquences — tell me how many of those hoodlums and the towns mayers that bulldozed and burned thousands of homes, that also ablaze several churches and Mosques while worshipers were inside, that displaced countless number of lawabiding hardworking Ethiopians, and that looked on when extremists robbed, raped young children…, and those that abducted young female college students, that beat up lawful citizens mercilessly and that dicapitated and slaughtered innocent people have been aprehended???
    No one knows the highly corrupted brutal TPLF mafia better than Abiy himself; that has grown up with them since he was 15 years old — wittnessing their manipulations, corruptions, robberies and their horrific atrocities against Ethiopian citizens for 25 bloody horendous years — and yet, Abiy didn’t go after TPLF that put Ethiopians through HELL for almost 30 years, and that robbed the country blind, tortured and slaughtered countless number of Ethiopians — instead Abiy went to Mekele and had a meeting with the TPLF mafia leader, then right sfter that meeting, Abiy sent his soldiers to Bahardar and ambushed the Amhara opposition leaders, instead of going after the very TPLF mafia that are socked with the blood of staggering number of innocent Ethiopians — where is the justice in that??? Go figure!!!
    And here we are again that TPLF members are instigating more violence between Amhara and Oromo — utter failure indeed!! Action speaks volumes than empty rehetrics!!!

  5. It is all about justice. Where justice is denied, it will backfire and bite those who failed to implement justice..It is only a matter of time. Everyone of these criminals will pay a price at some point in one way or another. what we see happening in Ethiopia at the moment is the result of the failure of the justice system, the breakdown of law and order. The tears of the poor people who are evicted from their shacks to satisfy the greed of those involved in land grab, money and power has a price tag on it. If you do not look after the welfare and safety of all the people ultimately everybody suffers. those who are in power in Ethiopia at the moment are advancing unbalanced views only to promote, to benefit cadres of one ethnic group at the expense of all other groups, in all areas of the government apparatus. This may benefit them temporarily, gain them ethnic based support for the time being, but this is counter productive in the long term . for the last two years everything tplf were doing is being repeated . Look at the mess we are now.
    The mass of ormo are not part of this feast, but few individuals ride on the back of the masses for their own selfish gains.
    No ordinary oromo would approve Jawaar Mohammad, Ezikiel Gabissa, Tsegaye Arrarssa and Bekele Gerba feasting with tplf in Mekele and plotting the downfall and disintegration of Ethiopia. But these individuals confess in the name of oromo and have managed to garner the support of many who are willing to carry out suicidal missions for them. One has to ask how did this happen. Some people even believe that when tplf were in power they sent Bekele Gerba to prison to spy for them in prison. I tend to agree with that opinion.
    the relationship between these faction of the likes of Bekele gerba , opdo, olf, ocf, opcf is complicated , but one thing is for sure . they all want power and the struggle for power is taking its tall on all of them.

  6. What a ‘coincidence’ that both Egypt & its Anti-Ethiopia Agents in Pro-Amhara Hats here shed their crocodile tears: “RIP! Cairo has nothing to do with it! Blame it on Abiy!”

    1). Hachalu [RIP] was chased around Addis a few months ago. The Police intervened, the stalkers apologized and Hachalu dropped the charges. Are they also under investigation?

    2). Misinformed, Ill-educated and Ethnic-oriented Cannon Fodders keep fuelling the “Ethnicize Ethiopia & Pit Ethnic against Ethnic” ploy of Egypt’s Dogs [TPLF-EPLF]!

    3). Islamic Front for Liberation of Oromia [IFLO]: This Egypt-funded group orchestrated the 1990s massacre of Christian Amharas & Oromos in Hararghe, Illubabor, Arusi, etc.

    Although the IFLO fell out of favor with most Oromos, it is back in business by joining the various Oromo Organizations and orchestrating bloody riots & cold-blooded murders! Some were out demonstrating in Dire-Dawa waving Egypt’s flags openly (yesterday!?)!

  7. 4). Abiy has been in a “Damned if you do & damned if you don’t!” trap since Day-1:

    i). Abiy survived the TPLF-OLF’s assassination attempt and had to UNDO the 27-year-old ‘TPLF Helix’. The Security Force was under TPLF’s command to serve the TPLF

    ii). He kept the TPLF-ransacked Ethiopia afloat with a week’s foreign currency reserve; 200 million Birr short for public employees’ salaries; Ethiopia-wide ethnic riots; etc.

    iii). Crook ‘Politicians & Activists’ exploited the public’s Ethnic Mob Mentality & ‘Self-induced Abiy-Amnesia’ [Parents: Amhara/Christian + Oromo/Muslim; Wife: Amhara].

    iv). Taking anti-riot measures against extremists got him labeled “Anti-Oromo, Anti-Amhara, Nazi, etc.” and showing leniency landed him “Pro-OLF, Incompetent, etc.”

  8. 5. Abiy’s regime should teach Egypt’s Dogs a lesson they will never forget! Egypt has been asking Ethiopia to fill a leaking bucket [besides its Pharaoh’s Era irrigation system]:

    i). The Toshka Project [TP]: ≈ 540, 000 acres of desert turned in to farmland by pumping water from Lake Nasser [169 billion cubic metres (169 bcm)] to the TP using the Mubarak Pumping Station [MPS]. GERD is 74 bcm [less than half Lake Nasser (LN)].

    MPS is a half-billion-dollar project that pumps 1.2 million cubic meters of water per hour [1.2 mcm/h]. So, it pumps the whole GERD in to TP in just 61.7 hours [≈2½ days]. Egypt also wants Ethiopia to keep LN full. Isn’t that like asking you to fill a leaking bucket?

    ii). The El Salam Canal Project: A project to irrigate Sinai desert with over 12 bcm of Nile water that empties in to the Mediterranean annually. Why not dam & use it? If Nile is a matter of life & death for Egypt, why waste Nile water irrigating Toshka, Sinai, etc.?

    NB: Ethiopia should expose such Egypt’s behind-the-GERD mischief to the world 24/7.

  9. 6). “My Piece of the Pie” Politics: Ethiopia is portrayed as “The World’s Poster Child of Poverty” but hundreds of ‘Politicians & Activists’ are wreaking havoc to rule Ethiopia:

    (i). These Con Artists preach democracy but craft a short-cut to power like their usual 1970s ‘Gizeyawi Hizbawi Mengist’ crap! A non-elected ‘Gizeyawi Hizbawi Mengist’? That’s short-changing Ethiopians all over again as they did during the Fascist Derg Era!

    (ii). Let’s let these over 100 parties form their ‘Gizeyawi Hizbawi Mengist’. Would there be over 100 parties if they had Ethiopia’s interest at heart & if they could get along? Isn’t this a ploy to create a 1991-like power vacuum that let in Egypt’s Dogs [TPLF-EPLF]?

    (iii). Democratic Governance entails democratically elected officials! To hold democratic elections, an independent electoral board has to lay a country-wide electoral network.

    To lay the network, the board members should be able to move around freely and safely. Meanwhile, all registered parties should have a level playing field to campaign equally!

    Ethiopia didn’t have all that in place even before the COVID-19 Pandemic. Besides, some parties that came from abroad haven’t even introduced themselves to Ethiopians!

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