jump to navigation

DW: Ethiopia: The killing of Hachalu Hundessa cuts deep July 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Ethiopia: The killing of Hachalu Hundessa cuts deep

The unsolved fatal shooting of the celebrated Oromo resistance singer has ruptured Ethiopia’s brittle political system. Can talks on a national scale avert a bad-to-worse outcome for the multiethnic nation? Click hear to read the full article

The New York Times: Singer’s Killing Shows Ethiopia’s ‘Combustible’ Politics #HacaaluuHundeessaa July 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Singer’s Killing Shows Ethiopia’s ‘Combustible’ Politics

The unrest that followed the killing of Hachalu Hundessa underscores long-simmering tensions in the Horn of Africa nation.

The Ethiopian musician Hachalu Hundessa posing while dressed in a traditional costume in Addis Ababa in 2019.
The Ethiopian musician Hachalu Hundessa posing while dressed in a traditional costume in Addis Ababa in 2019.Credit…Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

By Abdi Latif Dahir, The New York Times

NAIROBI, Kenya — In life, Hachalu Hundessa’s protest songs roused and united Ethiopians yearning for freedom and justice. He is doing the same in death, with thousands flocking on Thursday to bury him in Ambo, the town 60 miles west of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa where he was born and raised.

Mr. Hundessa, 34, was shot on Monday night by unknown assailants in Addis Ababa and later died of his wounds in a hospital. His death has ignited nationwide protests that have killed 81 people, injured dozens of others and caused extensive property damage. The authorities have blocked the internet and arrested 35 people, including a prominent media magnate and government critic, Jawar Mohammed.

The unrest, analysts say, threatens the stability of Africa’s second-most populous country and deepens the political crisis in a nation already undergoing a roller-coaster democratic transition.

“I am in bitter sadness,” said Getu Dandefa, a 29-year-old university student. When he saw Mr. Hundessa’s coffin in Ambo, he said he dropped to the ground and started crying.

“We lost our voice,” he said, “We will keep fighting until Hachalu gets justice. We will never stop protesting.”

Mr. Hundessa’s funeral serves as a moment of national reckoning in a country already facing myriad political, economic and social challenges. The fury aroused by his death poses a challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who rose to power in 2018 following a wave of antigovernment protests that Mr. Hundessa — a member of the country’s largest but historically marginalized ethnic group, the Oromo — helped to galvanize through his music.

In this still image from a video by the Oromia Broadcasting Network, mourners are shown attending the funeral of Mr. Hundessa on Thursday.
In this still image from a video by the Oromia Broadcasting Network, mourners are shown attending the funeral of Mr. Hundessa on Thursday.Credit…Oromia Broadcasting Network, via Reuters

Since then, Mr. Abiy, an Oromo himself, has introduced a raft of changes aimed at dismantling Ethiopia’s authoritarian structure, releasing political prisoners, liberalizing the centralized economy, committing to overhaul repressive laws and welcoming back exiled opposition and separatist groups.

In 2019, Mr. Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his initiative to resolve the decades-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea and for spearheading regional peace and cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

A nation of about 109 million people, Ethiopia has one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, hosts the headquarters of the African Union, and is a key United States ally in the fight against terrorism.

But while the 43-year-old prime minister has made great strides, the changes have unleashed forces that have produced a sharp increase in lawlessness in many parts of the country, with rising ethnic tensions and violence that have displaced 3 million people.

Yohannes Gedamu, an Ethiopian and lecturer in political science at Georgia Gwinnett College, in Lawrenceville, Ga., said that the ruling coalition had lost its grip on the structures it once used to maintain order in an ethnically and linguistically diverse nation. As a result, he added, as the country moves toward multiparty democracy, rival ethnic and political factions have clashed over resources, power and the country’s direction forward.

The government has come under fire for failing to stop the killing of government critics and prominent figures, like the chief of staff of the Ethiopian Army, and its inability to rescue a dozen or more university students abducted months ago.

In combating the disorder, the authorities have resorted to the tactics of previous, repressive governments, not only blocking the internet, but arresting journalists and enacting laws that human rights advocates say could limit freedom of expression. Ethiopian security forces have been accused of gross human rights violations, including rape, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings.

The coronavirus pandemic has complicated all this, leading the government to postpone August elections that many saw as a critical test of Mr. Abiy’s reform agenda. The move drew condemnation from opposition parties, who fear the government will use the delay to attempt a power grab.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia at a tree-planting ceremony last month. The fury the death of Mr. Hundessa touched off poses a challenge to Mr. Ahmed, who rose to power in 2018 following a wave of antigovernment protests.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia at a tree-planting ceremony last month. The fury the death of Mr. Hundessa touched off poses a challenge to Mr. Ahmed, who rose to power in 2018 following a wave of antigovernment protests.Credit…Michael Tewelde/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The last few days demonstrate just how combustible the situation in Ethiopia is,” said Murithi Mutiga, the project director for the Horn of Africa at the International Crisis Group.

He added: “The merest spark can easily unleash all these bottled up, ethnonationalist passions that have become the defining feature of Ethiopian politics, especially as it goes through this very delicate transition.”

While Mr. Abiy has a daunting task at hand, many say the government’s forceful response to discontent could make matters worse. Laetitia Bader, the Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said the group had received reports that security forces had used lethal force on protesters in at least seven towns.

“The initial signs aren’t good,” Ms. Bader said. “The government needs to make clear that it is listening to these grievances, creating the space for them to be heard and adequately responding to them without resorting to repression or violence.”

Given Mr. Hundessa’s stature, and how his music provided a stirring soundtrack against repression, the authorities should pull back and allow “people to grieve in peace,” said Henok Gabisa, the co-chairperson of the International Oromo Lawyers Association, based in St. Paul, Minn. About 200 of the city’s Oromo community protested on Tuesday.

“The Oromo people are in disbelief, shocked and confused,” said Mr. Gabisa, who knew Mr. Hundessa and met him a few months ago in Ethiopia. But arresting political opposition leaders like Bekele Gerba, of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, and raiding Mr. Mohammed’s Oromia Media Network only risked inflaming long-simmering tensions, he said.

“Abiy fumbled,” Mr. Gabisa said. “He dropped the ball.”

Members of the Oromo community in St. Paul, Minn., protested after Mr. Hundessa’s death on Wednesday.
Members of the Oromo community in St. Paul, Minn., protested after Mr. Hundessa’s death on Wednesday.Credit…Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Despite the recent upheaval, however, analysts still give Mr. Abiy high marks for his efforts to put Ethiopia on a new course.

Mr. Gedamu said the prime minister had taken huge strides on multiple fronts, establishing the nationally unifying Prosperity Party, overseeing a record-breaking tree planting project to tackle climate change and expediting efforts to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which would bolster the country’s electricity supply.

“It is my understanding that revolutionary positive changes might actually take some time,” Mr. Gedamu said. “But overall, the gains of the reform outweigh the challenges.”

For now, tensions remain high across Ethiopia as Mr. Hachalu is being laid to rest. The military was deployed to parts of the capital on Wednesday, and witnesses reported hearing gunshots.

Rawera Daniel, 24, an unemployed university graduate in Addis Ababa, said the authorities should not crack down on citizens who want to mourn.

On hearing of Mr. Hundessa’s death, “I cried like I lost my mother,” he said. “He fought for our freedom. His lyrics spoke on our behalf.”

Mr. Mutiga, of the International Crisis Group, said that Mr. Abiy should rise to the occasion not just as a political leader but as Ethiopia’s healer in chief.

“I think where Abiy definitely could do better is to try to fashion consensus,” he said, “persuade his opponents and be more deliberative and consultative and try to carry people along with him.,”

Tiksa Negeri contributed reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Ethiopia’s Simmering Tensions

#Oromia: Artist Hacaaluu Hundeessaa, the prominent #Oromo singer, songwriter, is assassinated on Monday 29 June 2020 in Finfinnee July 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

Artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa (34), the prominent #Oromo singer, songwriter, is shot dead on Monday 29 June 2020 in Finfinnee, around Galan Condominium site. He was admitted to Tirunesh Beijing General Hospital but died of his injuries shortly after. R.I.P!
Artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa waxabajjii 29 bara 2020 galgala naannawaa sa’aatii 9:30 magaalaa Finfinnee bakka addaa Kondominiiyemii Galaan jedhamutti ajjeefamuu maddeen naannichaa mirkaneessan.

ከዚህ በኋላ የእያንዳንዱ ኦሮሞ ታርክ ከጀግናው ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ሞት በፊት እና በኋላ ተብሎ በደማቅ ቀይ መሰመር ተለይቶ ይፃፋል።

በሃጫሉ ሞት ለ150 ዓመታት በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ የተንሰራፋው የበዕድ ስራዓት ከአሮጌዋ ኢትዮጵያ ጋር ዳግም ላይመለስ ከእያንዳንዱ ኦሮሞ ልብ ውስጥ ሞቷል!

የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ሁለት ልብ የሚሆንበት እና የሚያመነታበት ዘመን አብቅቷል። ዘረኛው ስረዓትም ከምድራችን ላይ በተባበረ የህዝባችን ክንድ ይነቀላል!

ከዚህ በኋላ፣ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ እራሱ በሚመሰርተው ስረዓተ መንግስት፣ በእራሱ ቋንቋ እና በእራሱ ባህል፣ በአባት አገሩ ላይ ታፍሮ እና ተከብሮ፣ በነፃነት፣ በተድላ እና በሰላም ይኖራል! ቃል ነው!!!

Dr. Beranemesqel Sanyi

Geerarsa #HacaaluuHundeesaa: Bishaan Baroo Dildilaa Gafaa Guutu Hin Beekanii, Lubuun Gootaa Billiiqaa Gaafa Duutu hin Beekaani. Trending forever https://youtu.be/l7uMks8BqEw

The slain singer’s wife, Santu Demisew Diro, gave a short speech after mourners laid wreaths. “Hachalu is not dead. He will remain in my heart and the hears of millions of Oromo people forever,” she said. Click here for more Africa News

The Ethiopian authorities must conduct prompt, thorough, impartial, independent and effective investigations into the killing of popular Oromo singer #HachaaluuHundeessaa Amnesty International said

There must be justice for the killing of Hachalu Hundesa. Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“There must be justice for the killing of Hachalu Hundesa. The musician’s songs rallied the country’s youth in sustained protests from 2015 leading to the political reforms witnessed in the country since 2018,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Ethiopia Cracks Down Following Popular Singer’s Killing, HRW.

Hachalu Hundessa, Ethiopian Singer and Activist, Is Shot DeadThe musician, 34, was known for political songs that provided support for the ethnic Oromo group’s fight against repression and a soundtrack for antigovernment protests.nytimes.com

At least 10 dead as slaying of Ethiopian singer triggers protests

BBC: Hachalu Hundessa: Deadly protests erupt after Ethiopian singer killed

Far from being a footnote in the Oromo struggle, musicians like Haacaaluu Hundeessa have been its centre of gravity.


Who is Hacaaluu: https://www.opride.com/longform/opride-oromo-person-year-2017-haacaaluu-hundeessaa/


OMN: Statement of condemnation of Artist Hacaaluu Hundeessaa’s assassination, the imprisonment of Oromo political leaders, and the closure of OMN in Ethiopia July 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Statement of condemnation of Artist Hacaaluu Hundeessaa’s assassination, the imprisonment of Oromo political leaders, and the closure of OMN in Ethiopia

July 1, 2020

We, the Board of Trustees of Oromia Media Network (OMN), are extremely shocked and devastated by the assassination of an Oromo icon, artist and human rights activist Hacaaluu Hundeessa, the detention of Oromo Political leaders Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and others and the closure of OMN Finfinne Head Office.We condemn in the strongest terms possible the targeted assassination of an Oromo musical superstar whose music has been instrumental in mobilizing the Oromo mass and other Ethiopians for peaceful protest against the former leadership of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime in Ethiopia. Hacaaluu was a voice for the voiceless Oromo mass until he was assassinated two days ago. Hacaaluu passionately believed in a non-violent struggle and committed his entire life to promoting respect for human rights and bringing social justice for the Oromo nation through his artistic talent. The OMN Board of Trustees believes that the environment that precipitated the assassination of Hacaaluu Hundeessa was set by the current Ethiopian regime. From day one, the administration embarked on praising and building new statues for the past emperors and dictators disregarding deep historical wounds, collective bad memories and anger of the people who suffered under those rulers. The emperors, whom Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made his role models, are known for committing genocide against different ethnic groups of the country during their reigns. Through his reactionary and imperial ambitions, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed created a political environment that led to the assassination of the human rights icon Hacaaluu Hundeessa. We, the OMN Board of Trustees, hold the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed fully responsible for the assassination of Hacaaluu Hundeessaa.We condemn in the strongest terms possible the imprisonment of Oromo leaders, Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and more than thirty others that the regime’s security announced. Jawar and Bekele have been champions of non-violent struggle against the tyrannical regimes of the former EPDRF and the current Prosperity Party (PP). By imprisoning these leaders of non-violent struggle, the Abiy Ahmed regime is plunging the country into chaos and making violent struggle the only option left for the oppressed people.We also condemn in the strongest terms possible the closure of OMN Finfinnee by the government of Abiy Ahmed. We would like to remind the regime that OMN has persisted in the service of the people even during the darkest days of the previous regime and will remain so despite all challenges. Let it be clear to all that the Oromo people will not allow its only voice to be silenced. We call upon our people to continue its unwavering support for its only true voice, the OMN.We are alarmed by the growing authoritarian tendencies and anti-constitutional practices of Abiy Ahmed’s administration. Given these grave circumstances and the uncharted territory the country is entering so quickly, the OMN Board of Trustees passes the following resolutions as a matter of urgency:1. We condemn in the strongest terms possible the political assassination of Hacaaluu Hundeessaa and demand that the culprits be identified and brought to justice through a credible and transparent investigation.2. We urge the government to release of Oromo political leaders Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba and other political prisoners.3. We demand, in unequivocal terms, the reopening of OMN Finfinnee and urge the government to refrain from obstruction of this media organization.4. We demand the release of all OMN journalists, reporters, and other staff members and its Executive Director, Girma Gutema.5. We urge the government to release the security personnel in charge of OMN’s headquarters and Jawar Mohammed’s residence.6. We urge the government to start taking necessary measures for the removal of all statues and other relics of imperial subjugation and domination.7. We demand that the government withdraw the excessive military forces it dispatched across the Oromia National Regional State and stop human rights violations and intimidation of the public.8. We demand an immediate cessation of misrepresentations and other forms of discursive violence unleashed, through conventional and social media, against the rightful interest of the Oromo nation and the other nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.We call upon our compatriots back in Ethiopia to continue the peaceful struggle for democratic reform and full respect for human rights. We ask everybody to watch for each other and our leaders for the regime’s possible killings and detentions and expose such acts.The Ethiopian regime, just like its predecessors, depends on foreign aid to finance its security forces that it has unleashed on our grieving people. We ask the international community in general, and the donors in particular, to refrain from financing a repressive military regime and make all aids to the country dependent on respect for human and peoples’ rights.Finally, we express our heartfelt condolences and solidarity with Hacaaluu’s family, friends, and the Oromo Nation during this difficult time.Sincerely,(signed in the original by)Kitaba Magarsa, ChairmanOMN Board of Trustees