How Hachalu Hundessa’s murder reveals Ethiopia’s political divide

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Hachalu, a former political prisoner, rose to prominence during prolonged anti-government protests [Screengrab/ YouTube

Al- Jazeera

Firaol Ajema and his friends, dressed in black T-shirts, have been meeting each afternoon in recent days to listen to the music of Ethiopian pop star Hachalu Hundessa, also known as Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

The homemade shirts bearing the dead singer’s portrait and the slogan “I am also Hachalu” are their way of honouring the man whose murder on Monday sparked violence that killed at least 166 people and highlighted Ethiopia’s simmering ethnic tensions.

“We haven’t been able to properly mourn,” said Firaol, a university student in the town of Legetafo outside Addis Ababa, where security has been tight since the killing. “We are suffocating inside our own houses.”

Hachalu’s death, which remains unsolved, was destined to become a political flashpoint.

In uptempo pop songs riddled with political references, Hachalu gave voice to feelings of marginalisation among fellow members of his Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s largest.

His music was the soundtrack to anti-government protests that swept Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the country’s first Oromo leader, to office in 2018.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The police and security official should be very hard on these animals who does not deserve any democracy. Deport these illegal animals to serngett where they belong. Animals doesn’t understand democracy and civil manner but a bullet into their heads. Besides we are over populated and getting ride of a few animals is a best way to reduce a population growth.

    • Exactly. The first thing is to recognize ‘Qeeroo’ and other similar ethno-nationalist extremists as domestic terrorist organizations and then deal with them accordingly. Ethiopia should impose emergency military rule if these crimes don’t stop soon. Democracy only creates chaos and anarchy and terror groups see as weakness and it has to be abandoned for now. Also Ethiopia should be independent from Western interference be it the US, Arabs, the EU, the UN and other human rights organizations as all of them have a globalist, neo-liberal agenda to destroy any strong independent nation anywhere in the world.

  2. Attack , murder and burning and looting in this part of the so called oromo region did not start last week after the death of Hachaalu Hundessaa. The murder , the eviction, the looting and burning has been on going with the knowledge and approval of these people in power . For goodnesss sake, olf was ravaging the country , robbing banks, displacing millions of people in Gedeo alone. Everyday people live under the terror of these bandits in Wollega and the surrounding areas. The government allowed them to carry their weapons when they came back from eritrea. the were acquiring more sophisticated weapons through local opdo officials and cadres. The government did nothing while all this was going on. WHY? WHY?, WHY?
    They laid the red carpet for Jawaar mohammad and were guarding him and pampering him with tax payers money since he arrived in the country for his satanic mission. Even after he ordered his queerrooo to murder 86 people with machettes in cold blood he was still influencing decisions within OPDO . Jawaar made his second home in Mekelle, conferring intimately with TPLF looters and murderers for several months. No question was raised by the government while tplf plotted with Jawaar. it is obvious nothing good could come out of any negotiation between Jawaar and tplf. nevertheless the government allowed it to happen. t

  3. In that past during Melez’s era Amaras were hating Tigrayans, blaming them everything while supporting Qeeroo terrorists. Now, Qeeroo terrorists & other Oromos nationalists are hating & killing Amaras & other Ethiopians. Melez should not have died! He left Ethiopia too soon!

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