At least 150 people have been killed in the Oromia region of Ethiopia as riots following the killing of a popular singer continue.
Known for his political songs, popular singer Hachalu Hundessa’s death has heightened ethnic tensions in Ethiopia, as the protests spread to the Oromia region, where Hundessa was born.
Killing of Musician in Ethiopia Highlights Deep Rooted Ethnic, Political Tension
The death sparked riots leaving at least 80 dead
Most of the deaths occurred in Oromia with others killed in the capital of Addis Ababa by security forces or in cases of inter-ethnic violence in the past week. At least 2,000 people have been arrested.
Authorities cut internet and mobile phone services in an attempt to dampen protests, making it difficult for rights monitors to track the killings.
Hundessa was gunned down Monday night in Addis Ababa, a week after he appeared on the Oromia Media Network, where he criticized Ethiopia’s leadership and spoke against the mass incarceration of Oromo youth.
The musician was ethnic Oromo, a group that has a long history of being discriminated against.
Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, ethnic groups’ demands for political, social, and economic inclusion and in some cases, independence have been growing.