No fewer than 80 people have been reportedly killed in the neighbourhood’s of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during protests over the fatal shooting of popular musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.
Reports say angry gangs roamed neighbourhoods in a second day of deadly unrest forcing authorities to deploy military in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday.
“So far 81 people have been killed, including three Oromia special police force members,” said Bedassa Merdasa, the Oromia police chief.
Witnesses described a situation pitting youths of Oromo origin against some of the city’s other ethnic groups, and where both sides skirmished with 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 Addis Ababa resident, who like others interviewed asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
Local police said that they are investigating the shooting of Hundessa, 34, who was attacked on Monday evening while he was driving home from an undisclosed destination.
Before his death, the singer had said that he had received death threats, but it was not clear who was behind his shooting on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Hachalu’s songs often focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo ethnic group and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.
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