Hachalu Hundessa: Ethiopia singer’s death unrest killed 166

(BBC) – Ethnic unrest in the aftermath of the killing of Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa has left at least 166 people dead, officials say.

A top police chief said 145 civilians and 11 security personnel died in Oromia region alone. Ten people have been killed in the capital Addis Ababa.

Hachalu, 34, was killed on Monday, sparking unrest that spread from Oromia where he was seen as a hero.

The motive remains unclear. Hachalu had said he had received death threats.

His songs focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.

Ethiopian soldiers ride on their pick-up truck as they patrol the streets following protests in Addis Ababa - July 2020Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe military was deployed in the capital as unrest spread from the Oromia region

BBC Ethiopia reporter Kalkidan Yibeltal says ethnic and religious tensions have intensified in the aftermath of the killing.

The hearse carrying the coffin atImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe funeral ceremony was held in Ambo, a city at the forefront for Oromo self-rule

Announcing the latest figures, Oromia deputy police commissioner Girma Gelam said 167 had “sustained serious injuries” during the unrest.

Mr Gelam said 1,084 people had been arrested, without providing further detail.

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