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The media’s crisis on Ethiopia August 4, 2020

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The media’s crisis on Ethiopia

BYAyantu Ayana, Africa Is a Country

Western media coverage of Ethiopia’s political crisis turns a blind eye to the grassroots movement behind the protests.

Image credit Carsten ten Brink via Flickr CC.

Ethiopia is facing a turbulent political period of unrest ignited by the shooting death on June 29 of a beloved and iconic Oromo musician and activist, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Assassinated in the capital, Addis Ababa, Haacaaluu played a pivotal role providing inspiration and vision for the youth movement in 2014-2018 that forced a peaceful change at the top of Ethiopia’s ruling party in 2018.

In April 2018 in an internal party election of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Hailemariam Desalegn was succeeded by Abiy Ahmed. The latter embarked on a reform process which was supposed to address contradictions exposed within Ethiopian society and politics by the protests, especially the need for domestic economic reforms and breathing life into the federal character of the Ethiopian state. Abiy has since dismantled the EPRDF and formed a unitary party, the Prosperity Party (PP).

The news of Haacaaluu’s death shook a country already despairing of a smooth transition to democracy. It touched off widespread grassroots protests in the Oromia region, the largest and most populous of Ethiopia’s 10 federal states. Police responded with a brutal crackdown starting with firing live ammunition into crowds of mourners. Immediately a sweep of Oromo individuals and institutions followed. At the time of writing more than 300 people have been killed, many more injured by security forces in the aftermath of the assassination. Three weeks ago, government sources reported that more than 7,000 people have been detained. Although updated figures have since not been released, detention rates remain high and schools emptied by COVID-19 are now prisons.

The first taken were well-known opposition leaders Bekele Gerba and Jawar Mohammed, along with 35 others. Jawar’s arrest was particularly dramatic because, despite his stated skepticism, he was considered an early ally of Abiy. The next day after Jawar’s arrest, police ransacked and closed the Oromia Media Network (OMN), a popular alternative to government-controlled sources of information for millions of people in Afaan Oromo, a language spoken by about half of the country’s population. The OMN was established in 2013 by journalists and activists living abroad, and Jawar became its second Executive Director in the US. After Abiy became a prime minister, Jawar returned to Ethiopia.

Unfortunately, international English language media coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ethiopia has presented a single, incomplete narrative to explain the conflict. Major news outlets, such as Associated Press, Washington Post, and WSJ represented the crisis by attributing it to “ethnic” tension, using terms such as “violent mobs” and “vandalism.” Some outlets insinuate that the current catastrophe is a byproduct of the country’s “ethnic federal system.” TIME conspicuously implicated the country’s constitution because it “divides Ethiopia into ethnically based territories.”

In Ethiopia’s existing political landscape, a fraction of the approximately 20% of the population who are urban elites blame the constitution for the current tensions and want to dismantle the components that protect the rights of named regional states. They want the resource base to be treated as a centrally controlled asset they can exploit.  The model of multinational federalism created regional states from national/linguistic/cultural groups as semi-autonomous entities to cooperate in federal arrangement. This decision was the result of long resistance to autocratic centralized military rule. It retains a strong support among rural producers (at least 80% of the population).  They want rights to develop the lands they consider their birthright and to protect them from unsustainable development by urban elites controlled from Addis Ababa. Yet mainstream media coverage presumes that nationality-based territories protected in the constitution contribute to the unrest rather than provide a solution.

Ethiopia is on the brink of chaos, perhaps even at great risk for a devastating civil war, primarily due to Abiy’s attempts to subvert the existing constitutional arrangement. Most Ethiopians do not support the imposition of further centralization from Addis Ababa. By turning a blind eye to the mounting grassroots resistance, media coverage fails to provide the kind of complete picture or balance necessary to understand the crisis.

Media coverage of Ethiopia needs to acknowledge those who support the sort of regional state autonomy based on linguistic/cultural groups that is enshrined as “multinational federalism” in the Ethiopian constitution of 1995.  When Abiy stepped into the political opening created by the youth resistance, he explicitly promised to deliver the transition to democracy via free and fair elections that the previous regime had failed to deliver. The US, the EU, and other international bodies accepted and praised him for his commitment to democratic transition.

However, the basic demands of the grassroots movement have been deliberately dismissed. The marginalized groups are again disappointed.  Furthermore, Abiy has commanded an active campaign to delegitimize the peaceful protests and the youth who led them. His government encourages the maligning, denigrating, and targeting of Oromo youth categorically. Over the last two years and increasingly in the aftermath of the assassination, state media have continuously referred to them as “violent,” “hate-driven,” and violent mobs driving “inter-ethnic” conflict. They are now being scapegoated for the recent unrest. Both domestic and international media outlets have magnified this narrative.

With Abiy’s about-face, the glimmer of hope, presented by what was to be a transformative transition to participatory democracy, has now flickered and disappeared. In fact, while urging the youth movement and Oromo leaders to “give him time,” the prime minister has taken giant steps away from democratization.

Over the last year and half, while virtually all media reporting on Ethiopia centered around vanity projects which placed the Prime Minister in the limelight, his government has imposed a state of emergency and military command with severe restrictions on citizens in parts of Oromia where his policies enjoy little or no support. Forces under his direct control carry out extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, house burnings, displacement, and other human rights abuses in these dissident areas as documented by human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

Media reporting has missed how Abiy’s persistent steps have subverted the goals of the grassroots movement. In October 2019, for example, Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize, winning laudatory media coverage. He also dramatically acted to dismantle the ruling coalition party, EPRDF, which provided the underpinning to multinational federalism. In an affront to the spirit of federalism he announced the creation of a single national party.

This move was universally unpopular with the youth movement as a betrayal of the promises of democracy. The ensuing region-wide youth demonstrations, in which 86 people died, were blamed on Jawar, noting his large following among the youth. He had spoken out publicly against Abiy’s political move against federalism by forming a single party. But media reports, and even human rights groups, missed this wider context of youth vexation over Abiy’s betrayal.

Remarkably, people managed to hang onto hope as they anticipated elections. A key to that constant reminder of hope was the music of Haacaaluu on everyone’s playlist, singing about what was possible if they peacefully harnessed their energy and looked to a future of unity. He embodied the grassroots. He himself had urged the youth to be patient with Abiy and to wait for him to get them to elections so that they could realize their desire to transition into a decentralized (multinational) federal system.

Haacaaluu’s assassination removed a safeguard against despair, not only for Oromo, but for other people brought forcibly into Ethiopia and marginalized thereafter. They all anticipated a change away from oppressive economic, political, and cultural structures.

Abiy’s return to authoritarian rule has re-ignited the #OromoProtests movement. His brutal response in suppressing the protests threatens to destabilize the country and the region. Yet the media claim that Abiy has “transcended” ethnic politics, missing many complexities, including a rise in incendiary historical narratives coming from his office and amplified on state and establishment media that pits national groups against each other. Following the assassination, media coverage has missed the scale and motivations for the ongoing government crackdown against anyone who does not agree with Abiy’s agenda. Journalists have presented simplistic narratives that suggest a personal conflict between Abiy and Jawar, reducing an extremely complex story involving much of the grassroots, who are entirely erased from coverage. By including the view from the grassroots, media outlets can deliver a more complete and balanced account of this volatile and fragile moment in Ethiopia.

#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally in Saskatoon Rallies for Human Rights in Ethiopia July 25, 2020

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Protest in Saskatoon Rallies for Human Rights in Ethiopia

Saskatoon, SK, Canada / Country 600 CJWWBrad JenningsJul 24, 2020 2:48 PM

Protest in Saskatoon Rallies for Human Rights in Ethiopia

The Oromo-Canadian Community of Saskatoon held a protest Friday to bring attention to recent political developments in the country of Ethiopia.

The rally began beside the Bessborough at 22nd Street and 5th Avenue, protestors marched west up 22nd Street and then north up 3rd Avenue to meet in front of City Hall.

Organizers say the protest, which say nearly 100 people attend, is to appeal to the Canadian government to review it’s relations with the Ethiopian regime in the interest of advancing human rights, political freedom, access to information and media freedom, as well as due process of the laws for prisoners, and the right to live.  The Oromo make up the largest ethnic group of Ethiopia.  The protest also looked to condemn recent police violence, politically motivated arrests, and the killing of a prominent Oromo artist and activist.

The Saskatoon Oromo-Canadian Community made 6 requests to the Canadian government:

Call for an impartial and independent investigation of the assassination of Oromo artist and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa

  • Demand the immediate release of all political prisoners
  • Demand the reopening of OMN (A news network for the Oromo in Ethiopia) and reconnect the internet
  • Demand an immediate end of the illegal military command posts in Western and Southern Oromia
  • Call for democracy through the timely administration of free and fair elections
  • Call on the international community to impose sanctions if these demands are not met

Realted from Oromian Economist sources:-

Time: How the Murder of an Ethiopian Singer Triggered an Uprising Against a Disintegrating Democracy July 25, 2020

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Time: How the Murder of an Ethiopian Singer Triggered an Uprising Against a Disintegrating Democracy

Members of the Oromo community march in protest after the death of musician and revolutionary Hachalu Hundessa on July 8, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota.Members of the Oromo community march in protest after the death of musician and revolutionary Hachalu Hundessa on July 8, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Brandon Bell—Getty ImagesIDEASBY RIBKA AYANA JULY 24, 2020

Ribka is co-chair of the Oromo Advocacy Alliance, which advocates for peace, justice, inclusive governance and the economic well-being of the Oromo and other peoples of Ethiopia

The June 29 murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, singer and activist, has triggered a popular uprising in Ethiopia. TIME columnist Ian Bremmer described the protests in a recent piece; since he wrote it the death toll has risen to at least 289, with over 7,000 detained. Internet services were shut down within hours of the assassination, and were only restored after four weeks.

But it’s important to understand what is taking place from the point of view of the grassroots in Ethiopia. That this single event would cause such a country-wide uproar has many asking, who was Haacaaluu? What are his songs about? Why did his death evoke such an outpouring of anguish, pain, and rage?

Haacaaluu, 34, was a bold performer and artist considered a cultural treasure, particularly by the Oromo people, the country’s largest nationality, cultural and linguistic group with a population of around 40 million.

His killing has touched every young person among the Oromo and many more who had access to a radio or a playlist. Haacaaluu’s songs breathed life into an ancient art form with great skill, making his music accessible across generations as well as nationalities.

Most notably his messages propelled the politically active grassroots youth movement often referred to as Qeerroo (meaning young unmarried person) in ways that the world beyond Ethiopia is just beginning to understand.

They played the leading role in creating the political opening that brought the current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, into his position. Haacaaluu’s musical messages deeply resonated with the historically marginalized who regard him as the embodiment of standing proud in their own identities.

Haacaaluu’s music provided the soundtrack for youth protests that erupted in 2014 against the expansion of Addis Ababa into Oromo territory. At the heart of these grassroots protests was the question of rights in the face of past and current land grabs that left Oromos dispossessed and strangers on their own lands. With his words playing in their ears, they persisted against brutal crackdowns to turn out en masse in the streets. This movement brought down the repressive regime of Hailemariam Desalegn, demanding fundamental freedoms and justice.

Haacaaluu’s songs highlighted deeper historical injustices and resonated deeply with those whose lands were confiscated to create Ethiopia and its capital city in the late 19th century. He spoke to their dream of building a decentralized Ethiopia that reflects the rich diversity of its many peoples. However, this desire creates alarm and fear among Ethiopians who support the kind of assimilation that created the country. From the view of the dispossessed, Haacaaluu’s assassins crushed their hopes. His death evokes anguish and rage because it symbolizes an assault on their identities, their human dignity and their deepest aspirations.

The idea that the Ethiopia is divided into ethnically-based territories by its constitutions is the issue most misunderstood in the West. It is only one one side of a major debate in Ethiopian politics today.

The constitution drawn up in 1995 starts: “We the nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia….” capturing the commitment of the country’s diverse peoples to build and live together in a multinational federation in Ethiopia that reflects the identities of all its peoples. Prior to this, the majority of the country’s population lived under governments that pursued assimilationist policies which suppressed cultural expression and diversity.

Creating constitutionally-protected multinational states was the first sign of a historic transition from autocracy to democracy. The grassroots in Ethiopia treasure the constitution and they are determined to protect it.

Surprisingly, the vision that Abiy offers now stands in contradiction to the will of the majority that brought him to power. His vision of a single national identity purports to “transcend” ethnic divisions. On the contrary, for the grassroots movements, it is a return to the assimilationist politics of the past. This vision has been tried time and again by Ethiopia’s emperors and by the Dergue military regime, which was in power from 1974 to 1987, but it has failed utterly.

The constitution enshrined multinational federation as a democratic response to the age-old question of nationality or cultural identity in Ethiopia. What is cloaked as “unity” in Abiy’s vision erases and persecutes ethnic identity and associated rights. As such it is seen by the grassroots youth movement as anti-democratic. Haacaaluu, inspiring the youth, championed a view which Abiy has turned against.

The grassroots movement has resumed because Abiy Ahmed has resorted to a politics that is deeply troubling, opening old wounds of conquest and historical trauma and indefinitely postponing elections. Further, he has jailed opposition leaders Bekele Gerba and Jawar Mohammed on false accusations of inciting violence — ironic because they have championed peaceful protests and civil disobedience since 2014. This on top of the closure of the country’s only independent Oromo news outlet, the imprisonment of journalists and the killing of protesters shows that Ethiopia’s democratic transition is in peril.

Until this renewed crackdown on opposition the movement had been remarkably peaceful. Yet as JFK said, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” The current situation where the people are subdued by brute force is not sustainable. As Africa’s second most populous nation and an important regional political broker, the root causes of Ethiopia’s current crisis must be politically addressed and resolved to achieve stability in the region.

The international community can make a great contribution by taking steps to promote a democratic process, encouraging Abiy to return to the promises made at the outset of the transition, reinstating freedoms of speech and assembly, democracy and access to opportunity. Abiy cannot presume to pursue democracy with the opposition in custody. In addition to urging the release of prominent opposition leaders, journalists and protesters, global institutions must support a genuine political dialogue with input from all parties and stakeholders, including youth, to develop a roadmap to participatory democracy by way of free and fair elections.

Even though he is gone, Haacaaluu’s call for people to come together and build an Ethiopia that reflects all of its peoples still resonates.

#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally in Minnesota ( 23 July 2020) July 23, 2020

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Mootummaa Itoophiyaa balaaleffachuun Hawaasni Oromoo Minnesota hiriira nagaa geggeessaan.

#OromoLlivesMatter #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution ‪#FreejawarMohammed #FreeAllPoliticalprisoners #AbiyMustGo #HaacaaluuHundeessaa #StopKillingOromoPeople #FREE_OMN_JOURNALISTS #StopArrestingOromo #StopTorturing

Al Jazeera: Pop star Hachalu Hundessa’s murder inflames Ethiopia July 23, 2020

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Pop star Hachalu Hundessa’s murder inflames Ethiopia

Pop star Hachalu Hundessa’s murder inflames Ethiopia

The shooting of the Oromo musician sparked protests in which hundreds of people were killed. Al jazeera, Ayantu Ayana, 22 July 2020

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Hachalu Hundessa was the man many Ethiopians credit with composing the soundtrack of a movement.

Also known as Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, his up-tempo pop songs filled with political references gave voice to the marginalised Oromo ethnic group.

His recent death has prompted a political flashpoint that highlights the country’s simmering ethnic tensions.

In this episode:

Ayantu Ayana, PhD student from Ethiopia; Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera journalist.

For more:

More than 160 killed in Ethiopia protests over singer’s murder

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

Related from Oromian Economist:

Oromia Support Group (OSG) Report 52 (July 2020) : Pogrom against Oromo intensifies July 23, 2020

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They demand to know where the OLF are. If you say you don’t know, they shoot you. If you complain, they shoot you. If you move, they shoot you.

Wallega resident reporting to OSG Australia, May 2020.

Hachalu Hundessa is assassinated; large numbers killed in Oromia;
Policitians arrested; Oromo refugees forcibly taken from Djibouti

The most popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, was shot dead around 9.30 p.m. on Monday 29 June.
Hachalu’s songs and performances were decisive in the success of the Oromo student demonstrations of 2014 to 2016, which eventually helped to put Abiy Ahmed in power in 2018. Although Hachalu distanced himself from the OLF, he remained a staunch defender of Oromo rights.
He received death threats from Pan-Ethiopian Nationalists after he claimed the victory of the Oromo student movement had been hijacked by the ‘followers of Menelik.’

Thousands of people gathered at Tirunesh Beijing General Hospital, where he was taken, and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, who began setting fire to tyres. Gunfire was heard elsewhere in the capital. Next day, the BBC reported that OMN’s Jawar Mohammed, now a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested when he and his followers were
trying to prevent Hachalu’s coffin being taken to Ambo. Eventually, the coffin was taken by helicopter to Ambo, where it was said to have arrived in a damaged condition.
Demonstrations in many places were met with live ammunition. Two were killed in Chiro, W Hararge. Five (nine according to Wikipedia) were shot dead in Adama, E Showa. According to OSG sources, between 80 and 100 were killed in protests across Oromia Region. Internet access was closed for most of Ethiopia.
At Hachalu’s funeral on 2 July, soldiers opened fire on the the crowd in Ambo, which included farmers who arrived on horseback, killing 41.
Internet access was closed in many parts of Ethiopia so information was limited. However, telephone reports of large numbers of killed and injured were being received as this report is going to press.
OLF top officials Dr Shigut Geleta, Mikael Boran and Kenasa Ayana (see pp.6-7) were taken into custody again at 2.00 p.m., 3 July. OMN and ONN are shut down. A huge deployment of troops across Oromia is beating and arresting thousands of Oromo – 4 July 2020.

Click here to read the full report

Related from the Oromian Economist social medial sources:

Daa’ima ganna 4 gaafa Haacaaluu ajjefamee magaala Gindhiir waraana nafxanyaa Abiyot Minilikiin rasaasan dhahame.. 4 year old child was shot and killed by Ethiopia’s military forces, in Gindhir, Bale Oromia.

Namoota Magaalaa Amboo rasaasa Waraana Mootummaa Humna Addaa Oromiyaa fi Raayyaa Ittisa Biyyaa rukutaman muraasa.

Maqaa guutuu

1. Habtamu Kumela Rika

2 Hirpha Chala

3 Tariku Tesema Lula

4 Bona Bekele

5 Biruk Tadese

6 Misgana Eshete

7 Unatu Dabasu

8 Yerosan Lemi Kefeni

9 Ashabir Tesfaye

10 Dinaol Kebede

11 Balayi Wakesa Geleta

12 Sisayi Dejene

13 Tesfaye Teshome

14 Alami Dhinsa

15 Milkiyas Mitiku

16 Lemi Bekele Deba

17 Sisayi Milkesa

18 Gashaw Kebede Kefeni

19 Abebe Gabisa

20 Tashoomaa qaabataa

21 Alemu Bekele

22 Bersisa Desta

23 Lema Bekele

24 Adisu Ulfata

25 Keranso Debela

26 Sisay tesfaye

27 Abera Degaga

28 Hirko Lechisa

29 Moti Bedasa

30 Dejene Bekele

31 Teshale Zenebe

32 Elias teshome

33 Sisay tesfaye

34 Gemechu Mengistu

35.Ashuu Tsagaayee

AfricaNow! Contextualizing The Crisis In Ethiopia July 22, 2020

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AfricaNow! July 22, 2020 Contextualizing the Crisis in Ethiopia
Summary–Topic and Guest: Contextualizing the Crisis in Ethiopia following the killing of popular Oromo musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa on June 29. Ms. Ayantu Ayana, doctoral student and a member of the Oromo Advocacy Alliance contextualizes the current crisis in Ethiopia—addressing the underlying historical issues that manifest themselves today in the country.

Irredeemably lost, irreparably damaged, and irrecoverably broken. Such is now the relationship between Oromos and the government of Ethiopia July 21, 2020

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Irredeemably lost, irreparably damaged, and irrecoverably broken. Such is now the relationship between Oromos and the government of Ethiopia.

Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa

After #Hacaaluu‘s assassination, all bridges are burnt down.The fracture has become a crack, and the crack a chasm. Ethiopia has once more leaped in the dark, into the abyss. Its conscienceless ‘leap in the dark’ has hit a dead end.Yes, Ethiopia has no conscience. In fact, it never had one. It prides itself in having none.The celebration, among neo-nafxanyaa political circles, of the murder of Haacaaluu, or the arrest of key political leaders such as Jawar and Bekele, or the closure of the OMN, etc, is a conclusive evidence of the Ethiopian refusal to think clearly, ethically, and reflexively about the grave Ethiopian predicament. It is an act of deadening the conscience.Their celebration is the definitive statement that it is all over now. It’s all over.The spectre of dismemberment is now up and about. And Abiy’s nafxanyaa regime has no one to blame for this except himself.The increasingly hostile Ethiopian gaze over Oromos and the profligate imperial desire to possess the land (without the people) has now provoked a spectre that will forever haunt Ethiopia henceforth, the spectre of Oromo self-determination.

በውሸት ትርክት ላይ በመመርኮዝ፣ ብሔረ-መንግሥት (nation-state) ለመገንባት፣ ሕዝቦችንም በጭቆና አገዛዝ ሥር ለማኖር ተሞክሮ አልሠራም። በፈጠራ ወሬና በውሸት ውንጀላ ትውልድን ለማሸማቀቅ የሚደረግ የተቀናጀ ዘመቻም ሆነ እውነትን በውሸት፣ በፖለቲካ ሸፍጥ፣ እና በሐሰት ፕሮፓጋንዳ ለመድፈቅና የሕዝብን ሃቅ ለመቅበር የሚደረገው ጥረትም አይሠራም


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#OromoProtests 2020 peacefully solidarity rally in London 17 July 202 July 17, 2020

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Finfinne on the 2nd of #HacaaluuHundeessaa’s assassination: Government sponsored mass attacks on Oromo. #OromoProtests July 16, 2020

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#ሃጫሉ ተሰውቶ በሁለተኛው ቀን ፊንፊኔ ውስጥ የታየውን እጅግ አደገኛ ነገር የሚያወራልህ የለም። ምክንያቱም የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ የሚፈፀም ነገር ሁላ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ትክክል ተደርጎ ይወሰዳል። ፊንፊኔ ውስጥ ምን ነበር የታየው?

1) በተደራጆ ዘረኞች የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች መኖሪያ ቤቶች እና ተቋማት ላይ ያነጣጠረ ዘረፋ እና የንብረት ውድመት ተከስቷል። በ መገናኛ 24 አካባቢ የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች ላይ አካላዊ ጥቃት ተፈፅሟል። የሪፍት ቫሊ ዩኒቨርስቲ ህንፃዎች ተሰባብሮ ንብረት ተዘርፏል። የኦሮሚያ ስም ያላቸው ባንኮች ላይ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ላይ ጥቃት ተፈፅሟል።

2) ከሁሉም በላይ ያስደነገጠኝ ኦሮሞ ላይ ያነጣጠረ የመንግሥታዊ ሽብር ነበር። ነገሩ እንዲህ ነው – በመንግሥት አካካላት በኩል አንዳንድ ሰዎች ከየአካባቢው ተመርጠው የአካባቢያቸውን ነዋሪ እንዲያደራጁ እና ከኦሮሞ ራሳቸውን እንዲከላከሉ ይነገራቸዋል። በአካባቢያችንም ይህ የተነገራቸው ሰዎች ስብሰባ ጠሩን። እኔ ለስብሰባ ስንጠራ የመሰለኝ ቤት እየለዩ ስለሚያጠቁት እና ስለሚዘርፉ የተደራጁ ሰዎች ለመነጋገር መስሎኝ ነበር ነገሩ ሌላ ነው። ቃል በቃል ያሉት ነገር ቄሮ እና በከተማው ዙሪያ ያሉት ገበሬዎች ወደ ከተማው እየመጡ ስለሆነ በምንችለው ሁሉ መከላከል አለብን። ፊሽካ ጡሩምባ እና አላርም ይዘጋጅ። መምጣታቸው ከታወቀ ድምፅ በማሰማት እን ስብስብ እና እንመክት አሉ። አንዳንዶቻችን ይህ ነገር የእርስ በርስ ጦርነትን የሚቀሰቅስ አደገኛ ሁኔታ መሆኑን ለመናገር ሞከርን። ባደረግነው ውይይት መጨረሻ ላይ ንብረታችንን እና ቤተሰቦቻችንን ከማንኛውም የተደራጀ ኃይል እንጠብቅ በሚለው ተስማምተን ነበር። ሆኖም ግን ተወያይተን ወደ ቤት ከገባን እየመጡ ነው… እየመጡ ነው…እየመጡ ነው ከሚል ጩሃት ጋርበ ፊሽካ ተነፍቶ ጊቢያቸውን መጠበቅ ሳይሆን ተሰባስበው ወደ ዋናው መንገድ ሄዱ። ደግነቱ ፍርሃት እና ጥላቻ የወለደው የራሳቸው ጥላ እያስፈራራቸው እንጂ የመጣ ነገር አልነበረም።

ይህ እንግዲህ #ፊንፊኔን ከኦሮሞ የመጠበቅ ፕሮጀክት አንዱ ክፍል ነው። ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ያሉ ሚዲያዎች በሙሉ እና የመንግሥት አካላት የኦሮሞ ህዝብን #ለጄኖሳይድ የማዘጋጀት ሂደቱን በተቀናጀ ሁኔታ እየሠሩበት ነው።

by Hola G. Irrenso

What was the hoopla all about? July 14, 2020

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What was the hoopla all about? #HacaaluuHundeessaa #OromoProtests

By Finfinne Intercept

Before airing the full version of Haacaaluu’s last interview with OMN, the government – through relentless media propaganda – had created much anticipation on potential revelations from his replies to journalist Guyo Wario’s questions. It turned out to be much ado about nothing. There’s hardly any content in the interview that supports the Attorney General’s claim that he had been receiving death threats from OLF-SG. Even the most die-hard of PP supporters hoping for incriminating material on OMN staff must have felt highly let down. If there’s anything that stands out from the interview, it’s the fact that Haacaaluu’s last verdict on current state of affairs is that “the Prime Minister has blood on his hands”. The interview is much more damaging to Abiy and his henchmen than to any other group or political entity. From the outset, the government showed little interest in finding the actual perpetrators and delivering proper justice for the victim’s family. The morning after Haacaaluu’s assassination, officials began telling the public about the parties involved in the killing and what their motive was with absolute certainty.There’s no way they could have known at that point unless they had prior intelligence and if they had that why didn’t they provide him protection in the first place? The entire thing is a poorly written drama whose purpose is to divide Oromos along pronvincial lines and help PP consolidate its grip on power. The government has already delivered a political verdict on this case and it’s naive to expect a different outcome from this process. The probe into the killing has to be carried out by an independent and impartial body for it to have a meaningful and acceptable outcome.What we’re seeing now is a political show trial whose intent is annihilating political opponents with Haacaaluu’s killing being used as a useful pretext. For all we know, the assassination may have been carefully planned and executed by a certain wing of PP. In fact it makes much more sense to suspect that he was targeted by reactionary forces working in cahoots with this government. In an older interview with Dejene Gutema of OMN, Haacaaluu had revealed that he’d been attacked at least five times by groups affiliated to these forces while going about his business in the city. And right after his killing, having found a convenient reason to jail and eliminate Oromo nationalists, their agents inside government pounced at this opportunity and arrested their long time nemesis, Jawar. Why on earth would they jail an innocent man who is mourning the killing of his closest friend and brother? It’s just so heartless and vindictive.There’s no doubt that Abiy finds himself impotent and emasculated in the presence of Oromo political heavyweight Jawar Mohammed. The man, who everyone once hoped would transition Ethiopia into a democracy, has now jailed his main political opponents with bogus charges and effectively transformed himself into an autocrat with fascistic tendencies. Abiy and those cheering from the side may temporary feel invincible at this point but they will fail and they will fail miserably.The movement will overcome this! The movement will prevail! #Oromoprotests#JusticeforHaacaaluuHundeessaa#FreeJawarMohammed#FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

Oromia (Ethiopia): The Violence in Oromia is Violence against Oromos: It is not Violence by Oromos. July 13, 2020

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The Violence in Oromia is Violence against Oromos: It is not Violence by Oromos.

By Dr. Barii Ayano

1. It is a known fact that there is ongoing violence in Oromia, and hundreds of people have been killed and many more were wounded. According to the PP regime, the death toll is 239. Other sources claim the regime’s figure underestimates the number of the victims. State violence is being committed every day and innocent Oromos getting killed every day. 2. The overwhelming majority of the victims are Oromos. The armed mercenaries of the PP regime are still killing Oromos every day. Thus, the Oromos are protesting across the world against the mass murder and mass arrests of Oromos civilians in different parts of Oromia. Of course, the state sponsored murderers’ victims include non-Oromos living in Oromia. But they should be counted as the only victims of violence in Oromia. Oromo victims are not counted by chauvinists. 3. The regime confirms the death of civilians in Oromia, but it is branding the victims as mainly non-Oromos living in Oromia for political expedience. The chauvinist elites and their media are also propagating the same conspiracy theory. They want to frame the crisis in Oromia as the violence committed by Oromos against others, which is completely false. The chauvinists did the same thing during the crisis that ensued after the assassination attempt on Jawar. Abiy Ahmed discredited such claim by coming out with the breakdown of the data of the victims, which proved to be most of the victims were Oromos. The current violence is not different, but Abiy is blaming Oromos, and he is on board with chauvinists. 4. Oromos have been disarmed in different of Oromia for decades. The TPLF-led EPRDF regime disarmed Oromos numerous times. Abiy Ahmed led regime did the same, and the new regime even went as far as banning agricultural tools in Hararghe. Simply put, Oromos are disarmed. They don’t have guns to commit large scale gun violence. The murders in Oromia are being committed by the mercenaries of the PP regime and the chauvinists themselves. Chauvinists in Oromia are armed to their teeth. They have been arming themselves, particularly during the last 2 years. It was almost daily news to witness the confiscations of illegal arms and ammunitions being delivered to Addis Ababa and other parts of Oromia. Oromia Police even discovered large quantities guns and ammunitions hoarded in Orthodox Churches in several parts of Oromia. The chauvinists in Oromia have the capacity to commit large scale murders using gun violence. 5. Oromos need to strongly fight the agenda of Abiy Ahmed and chauvinists that try to brand violence against Oromos as violence committed by Oromos. As it did before, the regime won’t release the ethnic breakdown of the victims now since it has the agenda to tarnish the image of Oromos. We need to gather information and debunk the false claims of the regime and its chauvinist supporters. Simply put, the Oromos are most of the victims of state violence and violence by armed chauvinists. When it comes to the properties damaged, Oromos also suffered the consequences. I think the PP regime’s cadres and security agents might have their hands in damaging properties. They are preparing documentaries to blame it on the Oromos now. They were designing this scheme before it occurred. The PP regime and its chauvinist supporters had streamlined plans of what to do after they got Hacalu murdered. Damaging properties is part of their cruel and dirty game. Don’t let the chauvinists own the narrative of the crisis.Let us own the narrative to build bridge between Oromos and other people. We are all victims of the machinations of the chauvinist PP regime.

Oromos say Ethiopia has become a ‘dangerous country for us’ at Paris rally July 12, 2020

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Oromos say Ethiopia has become a ‘dangerous country for us’ at Paris rally

France 24 12 July 2020

Oromos say Ethiopia has become a ‘dangerous country for us’ at Paris rally

Ethiopia has seen deadly unrest since Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa was shot dead at the end of June, with Oromos denouncing their marginalisation within a country that many experts are saying is becoming an authoritarian regime once more – despite the election of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018. Oromos in Paris gathered to protest on Monday.

As they gathered around the statue holding aloft the flame of liberty at Place de la République – a major site for demonstrations in the French capital,  near the ultimate symbol of protest, the Bastille – the Oromo protesters made their anger clear. Placards and banners read “Free all political prisoners”, “Abiy Ahmed, dictator” and “Justice for Hachulu”.

The demonstration was organised in response to the killing of popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, who was seen as a crucial voice for the Oromo people in Ethiopian politics. The day after he was shot dead in the capital Addis Ababa, crowds of demonstrators converged on several big cities – especially in the Oromia region, which surrounds the capital.

Violence soon flared, with at least 239 people killed in the protests that shook Ethiopia last week, according to the country’s police. Authorities said some people were killed during the security crackdown while other were killed in clashes between different ethnic groups. More than 3,500 suspects were arrested.

The Oromo demonstrating in Paris were worried about this crackdown and expressed support for sweeping political change. “We need equality and justice in our country,” said Mussa, a 25 year-old migrant from Ethiopia.

Notably, a statement from the association organising the demonstration said that Hundessa was murdered “on government orders”, motivated by the fact that “He was Oromo”. Since then there has been a twist in the case. On Friday, Ethiopian Attorney-General Abebech Abbebe said that “the assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force”, without providing details.

Intra-Oromo ‘civil war’

Abiy Ahmed is himself an Oromo. But the community is divided. “There’s a civil war going on within the Oromo group at the moment,” said Ethiopia specialist René Lefort. “Oromo are fighting against other Oromo; there are those who support Ahmed and those who have taken up arms against the government,” Lefort said.

At Place de la République, one protester who gave her name as Duniya argued that Ahmed has not done enough for the Oromo: “We thought that Abiy Ahmed supported our cause because he is Oromo, but over the past year Ethiopia has became a dangerous country for us,” she said.

This is part of a broader “repression of human rights, which affects everyone in the country”, added Fisseha Tekle, an Amnesty International Researcher on Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is becoming “more and more of an authoritarian regime”, Lefort said. He noted in particular the “thousands of political prisoners locked up all over the country” and “a press that’s starting to censor itself”.

The demonstrators in Paris also denounced these abuses. “The internet has been cut off in Ethiopia since June 30; we don’t know how our families are,” Mussa said. “We don’t know what’s going on in Ethiopia from day to day,” Duniya added.

Ahmed was not always such a divisive figure. In April 2018, his electoral victory was seen as heralding a brave new world – with the release of thousands of prisoners, the lifting of bans on hitherto repressed opposition parties and the repeal of illiberal laws. To cap it all off, Abiy was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for creating a peace deal to end longstanding conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

But modern Ethiopia’s first-ever Oromo leader has failed to maintain the soaring popularity that characterised his honeymoon period, especially amongst the Oromo ethnic group. “Ahmed has done nothing to stop the country from being torn apart by inter-ethnic conflicts,” Lefort said. “His main objective is to assert his power.”

This article was translated from the original in French.



Hachalu Hundessa: the Oromo singer who helped transform politics in Ethiopia

CTV News: Ethiopia’s week of unrest sees 239 dead, 3,500 arrested July 8, 2020

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Ethiopia’s week of unrest sees 239 dead, 3,500 arrested

Elias Meseret, The Associated Press

Published Wednesday, July 8, 2020Ethiopia

A map of Ethiopia is seen in this Google Maps image.


ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — At least 239 people have been killed and 3,500 arrested in more than a week of unrest in Ethiopia that poses the biggest challenge yet to its Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister.

In the Oromia region, the toll includes 215 civilians along with nine police officers and five militia members, regional police commissioner Mustafa Kedir told the ruling party-affiliated Walta TV on Wednesday.

Officials earlier said 10 people were killed in the capital, Addis Ababa, eight of them civilians, amid outrage after a popular singer was shot dead last Monday.

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Hachalu Hundessa had been a rallying voice in anti-government protests that led to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed taking power in 2018. Abiy swiftly introduced political reforms that also opened the way for long-held ethnic and other grievances in Africa’s second most populous country.

The military was deployed during the outrage that followed Hachalu’s death.

In remarks last week while wearing a military uniform, Abiy said dissidents he recently extended an offer of peace had “taken up arms” in revolt against the government. He hinted there could be links between this unrest and the killing of the army chief last year as well as the grenade thrown at one of his own rallies in 2018.

The 3,500 arrests have included that of a well-known Oromo activist, Jawar Mohammed, and more than 30 supporters. It is not clear what charges they might face. The Oromo make up Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but had never held the country’s top post until they helped bring Abiy to power.

Local reports have said that in some places ethnic Oromo have attacked ethnic Amhara, and in Shashamane town some people were going home to home checking identity cards and targeting Amhara residents.

Businesses have now begun opening slowly in Oromia after the violence in which several hundred homes in Ethiopia were burned or damaged.

But Ethiopia’s internet service remains cut, making it difficult for rights monitor and others to track the scores of killings.

The Conversation: #HaCaaluuHundeessaa: charismatic musician who wasn’t afraid to champion Ethiopia’s Oromo July 8, 2020

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Anyone who steps into the public sphere in Ethiopia is also a potential political leader. In this atmosphere, an outspoken musician runs a high risk of falling foul of the authorities.

One such story unfolded last week – the inexplicable, and still unresolved, murder in Addis Ababa of Hachalu Hundessa, the 34-year-old singer from the southern region of Oromia. The Oromo make up Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and are frequently referred to as a ‘marginalised majority’ that has been locked out of power until the last election.

The country is still stunned. Addis Ababa has erupted in protests that have left scores dead and dozens arrested. With the arrests of Oromo leaders, protests have spread as far as Minneapolis and London, cities with Oromo diasporas.

Politically motivated killings are certainly nothing new for Ethiopia, but this particular murder has touched the biggest nerve in decades, in part because Hachalu Hundessa was perceived to be a man of the people.

The murder is consistent with an ongoing story of musicians as political dissidents in a tinderbox regime. As perhaps the most beloved Oromo musician, he was a pre-eminent cultural figure for a third of the population – some 35 million people. His murder illustrates the total enmeshing of cultural, political and economic challenges in a country experiencing seismic changes.

Hachalu Hundessa always considered himself to be at risk, and people loved him because he didn’t let that risk keep him quiet. Click here to read the full article

DW: Ethiopia’s democratization at risk July 7, 2020

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Ethiopian prime-minister Abiy Ahmed was once awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for ending a war and raising hopes of democratic change. These hopes are being dashed by his heavy-handed response to anti-government protests.

Large anti-government protests that broke out last week, following the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, soon led to a government clamp-down. So far, more than 166 people have been killed and almost 2,300 arrested, including leaders of the opposition. Ethiopians have been cut off from the internet for an entire week as soldiers and police continue to patrol the streets of the capital Addis Ababa and other hotspots.

The scenario is reminiscent of similar crises in authoritarian-led countries.

Click here to read the article

የአርትስት ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ፖለቲካዊ ግድያ እንድምታ እና ቀጣዩ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ የትግል ምዕራፍ #HacaaluuHundeessaa #OromoProtests July 7, 2020

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ODEESSA=======Bilxiginnaan damee Oromiyaa (kan Afaan Oromoo dubbattu) walgahii godhattee waan armaan gadii murteeffatte. 1. Miidiyaa mootummaa fi kan Nafxanyootaa hunda fayyadamuun akka mormiin Oromiyaa keessaa toyannoo jaraa jala ooletti fakkeessanii ololuu, 2. Ajjeechaa fi hidhaa miseensa mormitootaa fi aktivistoota mootummaa qeeqan irratti godhamu jabeessanii itti fufuu, 3. Paartii Bilxiginnaa keessatti Oromoota waan mootummaan godhaa jiru kana irratti mormii calaqqisan qabanii hidhuu,4. Hacaaluun kan ajjeefame mooraadhuma qabsoo Oromootiin kan jedhuun Oromootti gara galchanii olola sobaatiin Nafxanyoota gaafatama jalaa baasuu5. Manguddoota Oromoo keessaa dantaadhaan salphaatti bitaman funaananii masaraa geessuun MM waliin footoo kaasanii ittiin Oromoo afanfaajjessuu, hamilee cabsuu. Ummanni keenya waan kana dursee itti dammaquun summii diinnni biiftu kamuu ofirraa haxaawee qabsoo isaa finiinsuu irratti akka fuulleffatu dhaamna.Qajeelcha:========1ffaa. Ummanni Oromoo guutuu Oromiyaa keessa jiruu fi kan ala jiru hunduu afaan faajjii ummata keenyarratti hojjetamaa jiru hubatee akka ummanni keenya hinburjaajofne godhuudhan qabsoo isaa kan karaa nagayaa itti fufuu qaba.2ffaa. Jaarsoliin biyyaa Oromoo shira ummata keenyarratti dalagamaa jiru hubachuudhan meeshaa diinaa akka hintaane gaafanna.3ffaa. Dabballoonni jaraa kan ummata keenya keessa faca’anii shira kanarratti hirmaachaa jiran akka karaa diinaa kanarraa deebi’an cimsinee nigaafanna. Warra kana gochuu dides ummanni keenya xireeffatee hariiroo hawaasummaa fi diinagdee isaan faana qabu akka dhaabuf dirqamu hubatamuu qaba.4ffaa. Afaan faajjifi olola mediyaa mootummaa harka jiruu fi mediyaa nafxanyootatiin ummata keenyarratti godhamuudhaf deemaa jiru ofirraa qoluudhaf mediyaalen Oromooti fi aktivistoonni Oromoo gocha diinaa kanarratti akka xiyeeffatan nigaafanna.5ffaa. Qabsoo karaa nagayaa ummanni keenya jalqabe hamma sirni nafxanyaa akka haaratti nurraatti ijaaramaa jiru ofirraa buqqifnutti kan itti fufu ta’uun hubatamee ummanni keenya tokkoomee akka falmatu ni gaafanna.

Dr. Birhaana Masqal irraa, karaa Awash post

#OromoProtests 2020 Peaceful Global Solidarity Continues #HacaaluuHundeessaa #Seattle #Beirut #Minnesota July 6, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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#OromoProtests 2020 Peaceful Global Solidarity Continues #HacaaluuHundeessaa #Oromia #Seattle #Beirut #Minnesota USA, UK #London, #Australia, #Toronto, Canada #Germany, EU











Hirirri biyya Germany magaalaa Frankfurt kessa godhamaa jiru

Haacaaluu Hundeessaa: A towering musician and an Oromo icon

Haacaaluu inspired a whole generation of Oromos to fight for their rights. His tragic death is an incalculable loss.


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1 week ago in Ethiopia, Haacaalu Hundeessaaa, an iconic Oromo singer, songwriter and activist was assassinated, two U.S. citizens were unlawfully detained, the government has cut off the internet nationwide and BBC News report over 166 citizens have been murdered.Haacaalu was not an ordinary musician. He came from a lineage of poets and scholars and inspired people not only through his music, but through his life. Haacaaluu was imprisoned at the age of 17, and it was in his 5 years in prison that he learned to compose lyrics and melodies. He was deeply knowledgeable on Oromo culture and history and was committed to connecting us all to the Oromo’s aspirations through his gift. This is the Official Facebook page in support of the #OromoProtests global movement.

ከኦሮሚያ ቄሮ የተሰጠ ቀጣይ የትግል አቅጣጫ መግለጫ KMN:- July 06-2020================መላው የሀገራችን ህዝቦች እንደምትገነዘቡት የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ተወዳጁን አርቲስት ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳን በጠላቶቹ ተነጥቋል:: የትግላችን መሪ የሆኑ እንቁ ታጋዮቻችን በመንግስት እንዲታሰሩ አድርጎአል። ህዝባችን ላይ የግድያ የእስርና የማሰቃየት ስራዎች ተፈጽመዋል። በኦሮሚያ ክልል በርካታ ህይወት በመንግስት ታጣቂ ሀይሎች እየረገፈ ይገኛል:: በመሆኑ አዲስ የትግል ምእራፍ ውስጥ ለመግባት ተገደናል:: ከዚህ በመነሳት የኦሮሞ ቄሮ ይህን የትግል አቅጣጫ አስቅምጧል።መላው የሀገራችን ህዝቦች እስከ ሰኔ 30/ 2012 ድረስ ለኑሮ አስፈላጊ የሆኑ ምግብ ነክና መሰል ቁሳቁሶችን እንዲያዘጋጁ/እንዲያከማቹ ከወዲሁ እናሳስባለን:: ከሐምሌ 1/ 2012 ጀምሮ፣ በኦሮሚያ ውስጥ ማንኛውም አይነት እንቅስቃሴ ሙሉ በሙሉ እንዲቆም ይደረጋል። የፈሰሰው የሀጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ደም ወደ ቤታችን እንድንመለስ አያደርገንም። የቱንም ያክል መስዋእትነት የሚጠይቀን ቢሆን እንኳን ትግላችን እስከ ነፃነት ድረስ ይቀጥላል። መሪያችን ጀዋር መሐመድ “የኦሮሞን ህዝብና አምላክን ተማምኜ ነው ወደ አገር የገባሁት” ብሎ ነበር። እኛም ለዚህ ውድ ጀግናችን አስተማማኝ አለኝታ መሆናችንን ለማሳየት ቁርጠኞች መሆናችንን በተግባር እናሳያለን:: አሁን ለኛ ለኦሮሞ ህዝብ ብሎ በእስር እንዲማቂቅ መደረጉ በእስር እንዲማቅቅ መደረጉ ለሰፊው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ውርደት ነው ብለንም ስለምናምን እሱንና ሌሎች ከሱ ጋር የታሰሩ ውድ መሪዎቻችንን ለጠላት ጥለን እጃችንን አጣጥፈን ልንቀመጥ አንችልም:: ነፍጠኞች ” የኦሮሞን ታዋቂና ተፅእኖ ፈጣሪ ሰውን ብንገድል ኦሮሞ ለ አንድ ሳምንት ተንጫጭቶ ወደቤቱ ይመለሳል የሚል የተዛባ አስተሳሳብ እንዳላቸው ጠንቅቀን እናውቃለን:: በዚህም ሊያላግጡብን ይዳዳቸዋል:: በርግጥ ለነፃነት የምናደርገውን ትግላችንን አቋርጠን ወደየቤታችን ከተመለስን እንዲህ ዓይነቱ ማላገጥ በሰፊው እንደሚቀጥል የሚያጠያይቅ ጉዳይ አይደለም። ያ እንዲሆን አንዳች እድል ልንሰጥ አንችልም:: የሃጫሉ ግድያንና የመሪዎቻችንን እስራት ትተን ወደ ቤታችን ብንመለስ እንደ ህዝብ እራሳችንን ቀና አድርገን ለመራመድ ከአንድ ምእተ አመት በላይ ሊወስድብን ነው:: ስለዚህ በዚህ ዙር የምናካሂደው ትግል ከሌሎች ጊዜም ለየት ያለና በቆራጥ አቋም የምናከናውነው እንደሚሆን ልንገልፅላችሁ እንወዳለን:: በመሆኑም የፊታችን ሳምንት የሚካሄደው አዲሱ የትግል ምእራፍ የትግል አቅጣጫ ከዚህ እንደሚከተለዉ የተቀመጠ ሲሆን ይህ የትግል ሳምንትም “የነፃነት ጮራ” ተብሎ ተሰይሟል። 1. የነፃነት ጮራ ሳምንት የትግል አቅጣጫዎች1.1. ከየትኛውም አቅጣጫ ወደ አዲስ አበባ የሚወስዱ ጎዳናዎችና ድልድዮች ሙሉ በሙሉ ይዘጋሉ::1.2. ወደ ፊንፊኔ የሚገቡ የውኃና የኤሌክትሪክ አገልግሎት መስመሮች ሙሉ በሙሉ ይቆራረጣሉ:: 1.3. በኦሮሚያ ክልል ሙሉ በሙሉ የተሽከርካሪ እንቂቅስቃሴ እንዲቆም ይደረጋል።ፍንፍኔም የኦሮሚያ ከተማ እንደመሆኗ ወደ ከተማዋ የሚገቡና የሚወጡ ተሽከርካሪዎች ሙሉ በሙሉ እንዲቋረጡ ይደረጋል። እንዲንቀሳቀስ የሚፈቀድለት ተሽከርካሪ አምቡላንስ ብቻ ይሆናል:: እነርሱም ቢሆን ተፈትሸው በህክምና ተግባራቸው ላይ ብቻ የተሰማሩ እንደሆነ የማረጋገጥ ተግባር ይከናወናል። 1.4. በየትኛዉም የኦሮሚያ አካባቢ ለሕዝብ መጨቆኛ የሚውሉ የመንግስት ተቋማት – የወረዳ አስተዳደር: የከተማ አስተዳደር: የደህንነት ድርጅቶችና መሰል የመንግስት የአፈናና የግድያ ተቋማት ሙሉ በሙሉ ይወድማሉ ። 1.5. ከሚሊሻዎችና ከታጠቁ የመንግስት አካላት የሚፈቱ መሳሪያዎችን በሀገር ሽማግሌዎችና በአባ ገዳዎች አማካኝነት የመሳሪያ ልምድ ያላቸው ግልሰቦች እንዲታጠቁት ይደረጋል::1.6. በመንግስት የፀጥታና ደህንነት ተቋማት ውስጥ ተቀጥረው ህዝባችንን በመሰለልን አሳልፈው በሚሰጡ አካላት ላይ ተመጣጣኝ እርምጃ ይወሰዳል:: 2. የነፍጠኛ ስርዓት አቀንቃኝ የሆነዉን መንግስት በማገልገል ላይ ለምትገኙ የሀገር መከላከያ/የፖሊስና የፀጥታ አካላት 2.1. በመውደቅ አፋፍ ላይ የሚገኝን ስርዓት እንታደግ ብላችሁ ህዝባችሁ ላይ ማንኛውንም አይነት እርምጃ ከመውሰድ እንድትቆጠቡ እናሳስባለን:: 2.2. በኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ ሆናችሁ ስርዓቱን በማገልገል ላይ ያላችሁ የመከላከያ/ የደህንነትና የፓሊስ አካላት የመንግስትን እኩይ አካሄድ ወደ ጎን በመተው ከሰፊው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ትግልን እንድትቀላቀሉ ከወዲሁ ጥሪያችንን እናቀርባለን:: 3.ማሳሰቢያ———3.1. የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ትግል በቀጥታ የሚያነጣጥረው የነፍጠኛው ስርዓት ላይ እንጂ የትኛውም ብሔር/ሀይማኖት ላይ አይደለም:: ስለሆነም በዚህ ትግል ውስጥ የትኛውም በኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ የሚኖር ብሔር ብሔረሰብም ሆነ የሀይማኖት ተቋማት አይነኩም:: የኦሮሞ ቄሮ እንደዚህ አይነት ጉዳዮችን በትኩረት ይከውናል:: አስፈላጊ የሆኑ ጥበቃዎችን ያደርጋል – ያስደርጋል! 3.2. ከሀምሌ 1 ጀምሮ ተግባራዊ የሚደረጉ ከኦሮሞ ቄሮ የተላለፉ ከላይ የተዘረዘሩትን የእንቅስቃሴ ገደቦችን በመተላለፍና በማንአለብኝነት አንዳች እንቅስቃሴ የሚያደርጉ አካላት ላይ አስፈላጊው እርምጃ የሚወሰድበት ሲሆን ለዚህ ሀላፊነቱን የሚወስዱት እራሳቸው እንደሚሆኑ ከወዲሁ ለማሳሰብ እንወዳለን:: ኦሮሚያ ነፃነቷን ትጎናፀፋለች! ሀገር አቀፍ የኦሮሚያ ቄሮ አመራርሰኔ 28/2012

Aljazeera: Haacaaluu Hundeessa: The protest singer who became an Oromo icon #HaacaaluuHundeessa July 4, 2020

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Popular protest singer Haacaaluu Hundeessa, whose killing earlier this week sparked deadly unrest, was one of Ethiopia’s biggest music stars whose popular songs galvanised the youth of country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Click here to read the full article

The 34-year-old’s music gave voice to Oromos’ widespread sense of economic and political marginalisation during years of protests that in 2018 led to the downfall of Ethiopia’s government, sweeping Abiy Ahmed – the country’s first Oromo prime minister – to power.

“He is somebody who is seen as icon for the more than 50 million Oromos who live in Ethiopia and across Africa,” Awol Allo, senior lecturer of law at Keele University in England, told Al Jazeera, describing him as “a towering musical genius”.

Haacaaluu sang in the Oromo language but his lyrics about yearning for freedom and exhorting Ethiopians to solve their problems touched a chord more broadly.

His first album was released in 2009, after he had served five years in prison for his political activism. It was during that time when he wrote most of his songs, according to a profile in O Pride, an Oromo magazine.

His second album two years later was a hit on Amazon, but it was his single “Maalan Jira?” (What fate is mine?), released just before a wave of government-backed evictions began around the capital, Addis Ababa, in 2015, that became a rallying cry.

The song has been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

As the government wavered, in 2017 he released Jirra, a defiant cry meaning “We Are Here” – that has become a greeting among Oromo youth. That December, he sang at a star-studded concert in Addis Ababa to raise money for displaced Oromo families.

“When people were out on the street being shot at and being killed, he comforted the Oromo people with his songs of revolution, love and resistance to the system that oppressed [them],” Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard publication, told Al Jazeera.

“He leaves behind a legacy of a man [who] is the institution of the consciousness of the Oromo people,” she said, noting that he embodied the struggle of his people “for equality and justice”

Over the next two years, the protests spread far beyond the Oromia region, meeting a bloody response from security forces. About 30,000 people were jailed, including activists, writers and opposition leaders.

Eventually, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in February 2018 – unprecedented in Ethiopian history. Abiy, whose father is Oromo, was appointed prime minister instead.

Abiy released the political prisoners, unbanned many political parties and promised free and fair elections.

But some Oromo say they are still suffering government persecution – part of the region is under federal military control.

Haacaaluu was shot dead in Addis Ababa on Monday by unknown gunmen and buried on Thursday at a church in Ambo, his hometown about 100km (60 miles) west of Addis Ababa.

“He was a true freedom fighter,” Belay Aqenaw, the funeral’s organiser, said in a speech. “He was a singer who raised our spirits.”

Haacaaluu’s murder sparked protests in the capital and across the Oromia region which surrounds Addis Ababa.

Oromia regional police said on Thursday that 87 people, including four of the region’s police officers, had been killed over the last three days, with 76 seriously injured.

In a separate statement, Addis Ababa’s police said 10 people had been killed in the capital over that period, including two officers, which raises the total official toll to 97.


Can Ethiopia bridge its ethnic divide?

The killing of an ethnic Oromo singer-activist has led to days of violence in Ethiopia. Click here to read the full article

BBC: Hachalu Hundessa – Ethiopia’s murdered musician who sang for freedom

Hachalu on a horse commemorating Oromo horsemen who fought and defeated Italy on the Battle of Adwa in 1896 - March 2019

More than 80 people have been killed in two days of unrest in Ethiopia following the killing of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa.

The 34-year-old had emerged as a powerful political voice of the Oromo ethnic group, and had made many enemies during his musical career.

Two suspects were arrested after he was shot dead while driving in the capital, Addis Ababa on Monday evening. However, police have not yet revealed a motive for the killing and no charges have been brought against the suspects.

Hachalu’s funeral has taken place in his hometown of Ambo.

BBC Afaan Oromoo’s Bekele Atoma writes about the musician who was a thorn in the flesh of successive governments. Click here to read the full article

Bloomberg: Ethiopia’s Nobel Winner Can’t Rest on His Laurels

No clampdown on communications can conceal the fact that Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is struggling to calm his own people. Click to read the article

#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally, Justice for #HacaaluuHundeessaa Free Jawar Mohammed #AbiyMustgo July 4, 2020

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Free political prisoners

Ethiopia’s Nobel Winner Can’t Rest on His Laurels. No clampdown on communications can conceal the fact that Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is struggling to calm his own people. #OromoProtests #AbiymustGo (mental slavery self-hater) https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-03/ethiopia-s-nobel-winner-can-t-rest-on-his-laurels


#HacaaluuHundeessaa #OromProtests #Colorado #Abiymustgo #OromoLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter Hiriira balaaleffannaa ajjeechaa artist Haacaaluu Hawaasa Oromoo Koloraadootiin


BBc Afaan Oromoo: Hawaasni Oromoo biyya alaa jiru hiriirra mormii gaggeessaa jiraHawaasni Oromoo biyyoota addunyaa garaagaraa jiran ajjeechaa Art. Haacaaluu Hundeessaarratti raawwatameefi hidhamuu hooggantoota siyaasaa mormituu balaaleffatu gaggeefamaa jira.Dubbi himtuun hawaasa Oromoo Minesotaa kan kanaa kan taatee Najaat Hamzaa bulchiinsa sadarkaa gadi jirurraa qabee hanga Federalaatti gaaffii isaanii dhiyeeessaa akka jiran BBC’tti himte.”Wanni nuti gaafataa jirru Hooggantootni keenya hidhaa jiran akka gadlakkifamanfi mirgi Oromoo akka kabajamu dhiibbaa gochaa jirraa,” jette.Dabalata: Mormii hawaasni Oromoo biyya alaa gageessaa jiruKanneen mormiif daandiitti bahanSTEPHEN MATURENCopyright: STEPHEN MATURENArticle share tools

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Copy this linkWaa’ee geessituuwwan kanneenii dabalata dubbisi

…tti maxxanfame 6:406:40Akkam bultan!Miseensa Kongirasii Ameerikaa Ilhaan OmaarAFPCopyright: AFPHawaasni Oromoo bakkeewwan gara garaa jiru ajjeechaa weellisaa Hacaaluu mormuun daandiirra bahuu itti fufaniiru.Dhalattuun Somaaliyaafi miseensi kongirasii US Ilhaan Omaar ajjeechaa Hacaaluu irratti raawwateef haqni akka argamu Ameerikaan akka gargaartu waanin danda’e hunda nan godha jechuun fuula fesbuukii ishee irratti barreessite.Dabalataan biyyoonni biroo keessoo Itoophiyaa keessa seenuun jeequmsa akkasumas qoodinsa gara caalu akka hin finne akka eeggatan dhaamte.Mootummaan Itoophiyaallee intarneeta cufe akka banu gaafatte.

#Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Security forces and killing squads killed atleast 129 and wounded 362 #Oromo nationals this week. The figure is rising. #AbiyiMustGo justice for #HacaaluuHundeessaa Free Jawar Mohammed free Bekele Gerba free OMN journalists #OromoProtests https://www.facebook.com/AwashPost/posts/2689505818005451

#OromoProtests 2020 Global Solidarity Rally in London #HacaaluuHundeessaa July 3, 2020

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Free Oromo Political Prisoners

Free Political prisoners

Join #OromoProtests Oromo resources

The Following is Peaceful Solidarity Rally in London videos

#OromoProtests global solidarity rally, London 3 July 2020


Protest against Ethiopian government takes over Downtown intersection, OHIO

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Press briefing note on Ethiopia July 3, 2020

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Press briefing note on Ethiopia

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert ColvilleLocation: Geneva Date: 3 July 2020

Subject: Ethiopia

We are deeply concerned at violent events in Ethiopia this week where a prominent singer and activist from Oromia Region, Hachalu Hundessa, was shot and killed in the capital, Addis Ababa on Monday.The killing of Hundessa sparked protests across the country, including in the capital and in Oromia Region. While some of the protests were peaceful, a number were violent from the outset. According to information we have received, roads were reported to be blocked in most parts of Oromia Region and buildings vandalised and burnt, while there was gunfire and bomb explosions in Addis Ababa.

The authorities responded to the spread of the protests by shutting down the Internet in Oromia Region, as well as in Addis Ababa, making it extremely difficult to verify reports about the number of people killed and injured.

According to the Government, around 50 people were killed, while media sources indicated some 80 people had died, including three members of the security forces.

We note with concern that the protests following Hundessa’s killing have increasingly taken on an ethnic undertone. We therefore call on all, including young people, to stop carrying out ethnically-motivated attacks and to stop inciting to violence, acts that only serve to exacerbate underlying tensions.

We also urge the security forces to exercise restraint when managing protests and to refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force.

Thirty-five people were reported to have been arrested by security forces on Tuesday evening during a protest over the location of Hundessa’s funeral. According to the police, the protesters, who wanted the singer to be buried in Addis Ababa, unsuccessfully tried to prevent his body being taken to his hometown of Ambo.

His funeral went ahead in Ambo on Thursday. The shutting down of Internet services is of particular concern as it disproportionately restricts the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and risks further exacerbating tensions.

We urge the authorities to restore Internet access without further delay.The authorities have announced that suspects in Hachalu Hundessa’s murder have been arrested. It is essential that there is a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into his death to ensure those responsible are held accountable. The victims and their families have the right to justice, the truth and reparations.We also stand ready to provide support to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in its investigation of potential human rights violations during these violent events.ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville – + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org or Liz Throssell – + 41 22 917 9296 / ethrossell@ohchr.org or Marta Hurtado – + 41 22 917 9466 / mhurtado@ohchr.orgTag and share – Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

HRW: Ethiopia Cracks Down Following Popular Singer’s Killing July 1, 2020

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Ethiopia Cracks Down Following Popular Singer’s Killing

Lift Internet Shutdown, Avoid Force at Protests, Free Unjustly Held Politicians

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Laetitia Bader

Director, Horn of AfricaLaetitiaBaderLaetitiaBader

Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa in a still from the music video for his song, "Maalan Jira".
Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa in a still from the music video for his song, “Maalan Jira”.

Protests erupted in several towns across Ethiopia in response to the June 29 killing of Hachalu Hundessa, a popular Oromo singer whose songs captured the struggles and frustrations of the Oromo people during the 2014-2018 anti-government protest movement. Unidentified gunmen shot Hundessa dead in Addis Ababa, the capital. Hundessa’s uncle was also reportedly killed in Ambo today.

While police claim to have made arrests in connection with Hundessa’s killing, the government’s responses to the protesters risks enflaming long-simmering tensions. On Tuesday morning the government cut internet services across the country, which only amplified concerns that people are being silenced and that human rights abuses and communal violence, having rocked the country last year, are not being addressed.

The internet shutdown has also made it impossible to access information on those killed and injured in the protests. One witness told us: “There is no network. We don’t have any information flow … the government only tells people [they] are investigating, and so everyone is hypothesizing based on current affairs.”

Despite the blackout, credible reports of violence are emerging. A regional government spokesman said that three explosions shook the capital, Addis Ababa, the morning after Hundessa’s killing. Meanwhile, independent media reports suggest that more than 80 people have been killed in the Oromia region and a further 10 people were killed in Adama after a government building was set on fire.

An activist in Nekemte, western Oromia, told Human Rights Watch that three protesters were killed after Oromia police opened fire. A doctor in the town of Dire Dawa said that the hospital had received eight people with gunshot injuries after reportedly being fired at by security forces, and that two soldiers had also been shot and injured.

The government’s response took another worrying turn when authorities arrested political opposition leaders Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, late Tuesday morning after a reported standoff with security forces over Hundessa’s funeral site. Jawar and Bekele were initially held incommunicado, but are now known to be held in Sostegna police station in Addis Ababa. While their families have now been allowed to bring them food and medicine, it is unclear if they have access to a lawyer. Bekele’s son and daughter were also arrested, and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The media has also reported that another prominent political opposition leader, Eskinder Nega, has also been detained.

Rather than restoring calm, the authorities’ internet shutdown, apparent excessive use of force, and arrest of political opposition figures could make a volatile situation even worse. The government should take prompt steps to reverse these actions or risk sliding deeper into crisis.

The Guardian: Ethiopia protests: more than 80 killed as singer’s murder lays bare grievances, July 1, 2020

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Ethiopia protests: more than 80 killed as singer’s murder lays bare grievances

Troops on Addis Ababa streets as political tensions erupt over Haacaaluu death and wider Oromo claims

Ethiopian musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, in traditional costume, 2019

Haacaaluu Hundeessaa in 2019. His music served as the soundtrack to Oromos opposing political exclusion. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/ReutersReuters in Addis AbabaPublished onWed 1 Jul 2020 16.15 EDT

Ethiopian troops have been deployed in the country’s capital in a second day of unrest, sparked by the assassination of the popular musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, which has claimed more than 80 lives.

Protests after Haacaaluu’s murder on Monday tapped into grievances fuelled by decades of government repression and what the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, describe as their historic exclusion from political power.

“I am angry. It’s eating me inside,” said Ishetu Alemu, a protester, as tyres smouldered in the street behind him.

Gunshots could be heard in many neighbourhoods, and gangs armed with machetes and sticks roamed the streets. Witnesses described a situation pitting youths of Oromo origin against other ethnic groups and the police.

“We had a meeting with the community, and we were told to arm ourselves with anything we have, including machetes and sticks. We no longer trust the police to protect us so we have to prepare ourselves,” said one resident in the capital, Addis Ababa, who like others interviewed asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

Many residents fear that Haacaaluu’s funeral, scheduled for Thursday in his home town, Ambo, could lead to more violence.

“Security forces have invaded our town, we can’t go out to mourn. No vehicles are moving around except security patrols with machine guns,” Chala Hunde, 27, a student, told Reuters by phone from Ambo, about 60 miles west of Addis. “The security forces are putting a finger in our wound.”

Prof Awol Allo, at Keele University, England, said a tussle over whether to bury Haacaaluu in Ambo or Addis had laid bare the political tensions fanning the protests. “It’s very contentious. Oromos claim the city [Addis] to be theirs, as it lies fully within the Oromo regional state.” But the capital is under federal, not regional control.

The state broadcaster reported the arrest of the prominent journalist and activist Eskinder Nega, a former political prisoner who runs a pressure group opposed to what it describes as Oromo attempts to dominate the capital.

The dispute over Addis triggered three years of bloody street demonstrations that led to the resignation of the previous prime minister and Abiy Ahmed’s appointment to the post in 2018. Haacaaluu’s music was the soundtrack to a generation of young Oromos who led the protests.

The regional police commissioner, Bedassa Merdassa, told the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday that more than 80 people had been killed in the clashes in Oromiya on Tuesday, including protesters and three members of the security forces. The dead also included 78 civilians, he said.

Another potential flashpoint was the arrest on Tuesday of the Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Gerba, and the media mogul Jawar Mohammed.

Abiy, Haacaaluu and Jawar are all Oromo. The singer and media owner were more critical of the prime minister in recent months; some Oromo activists have accused Ethiopia’s 41-year-old prime minister of repression.

In federal Ethiopia power is traditionally derived through the control of large ethnic voting blocs. Under the previous administration voting was rarely free or fair; opposition activists were jailed, tortured or driven into exile.

Related, Oromia Economist Sources:

Military deployed in Ethiopian capital after more than 50 killed in protests over musician’s assassination


#Oromia: A New Phase of #OromoRevolution Tsegaye Ararssa #HacaaluuHundeessaa July 1, 2020

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A New Phase of #OromoRevolution,

By Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa #HacaaluuHundeessaa

As of yesterday, the struggle has entered a new phase. We now brace ourselves for a comprehensive set of protest measures as of this morning.A state-wide protest rallies are hoped to be staged from today on. It’s hoped that these protest measures will extend to other parts of the country as well.

The demands to be tabled are:

1. To give a dignified burial for Haacaaluu in Finfinnee–and that, after a proper examination of the cause of his death, identification of the assassins, and taking genuine measures for ensuring (legal, administrative, and political) accountability for the assassination;

2. To release all political prisoners including the leaders (e.g. Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Borana, etc) and numerous other protesters arrested yestetday;3. Release the journalists, reporters, and other staff members of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) including its Executive Director, Girma Gutema;

4. Release the security personnel in charge of the security of the OMN premises and the residence of Jawar Mohammed; and

5. Take decisive measures to remove all historical relics of empire such as statues, flags, and symbols that insult the pluralist and federalist sensibilities of Oromos and all other nations in the country;

6. Stop the use of the media (conventional as well as social) to attack, misrepresent, and provoke the Oromo and the other ‘others’ of Ethiopia;

7. Stop the use of repressive military tactics that are deployed to terrorize, intimidate, and humiliate the people into submission;

8. Withdraw the military from the civilian lives of the local population;9. Start a genuinely inclusive discussion with all parties towards restoring constitutional rule, federalism, and rule of law, in a framework that eyes an election before the expiry of the term in October 2020.

10. Ensure that proper remedial measures are taken in order to redress victims of human rights violations in the past two years.Oromos from all walks of life shall be taking part in yhe protest measures. #Oromia_Protests_2020.

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

Ethiopia: Popular musician’s killing must be fully investigated

Oromia: OMN: Keessummaa – Wellisaa Hacaaluu Hundeessaa (Wax 22, 2020) June 23, 2020

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OMN: Keessummaa – Wellisaa Hacaaluu