- Title: Tensions high in Ethiopia ahead of popular singer's funeral
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF REMAINS OF BURNT TYRE IN ADDIS ABABA (SOUNDBITE) (Oromo) RESIDENT OF ADDIS ABABA, CHALA GUDISA, SAYING: "There is no benefit in mourning too much and crying. We lost one Haacaaluu, not the entire Oromo nation. The most important thing is that the Oromo people get united and materialise the vision of Haacaaluu." (SOUNDBITE) (Amharic) RESIDENT OF ADDIS ABABA, ISHETU ALEMU, SAYING: "I wish I didn't know him. I am heartbroken. Haacaaluu is not an ordinary individual. He's pure Ethiopian and pure Oromo. I am angry. It's eating me up inside." VARIOUS OF SHOPS AND BANKS CLOSED VARIOUS OF EMPTY STREETS IN ADDIS ABABA
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 06:54
- Keywords: Addis Ababa Ethiopia Haacaaluu Hundeessaa Hundeessaa protest
- Location: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
- City: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
- Country: Ethiopia
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL49M4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The streets of Addis Ababa were empty and shops appeared closed on Wednesday (July 1), ahead of the funeral of popular musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa killed on Monday (June 29).
His death sparked protests on Tuesday (June 30) that have so far claimed 80 lives and spread from Addis Ababa to the surrounding Oromiya region.
The killing 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.
One resident of Addis Ababa, Ishetu Alemu, said he was heartbroken by the musician's killing.
"Haacaaluu is not an ordinary individual. He's pure Ethiopian and pure Oromo. I am angry. It's eating me up inside," he said.
Many residents feared Haacaaluu's funeral - scheduled for Thursday (July 2) in his home town of Ambo - could ignite more violence.
The military has been deployed in areas of the Ethiopian capital.
Haacaaluu provided a soundtrack to a generation of young protesters. Their three years of bloody street demonstrations forced the unprecedented resignation of the previous prime minister and the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018. Abiy and Haacaaluu are all Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group.
Ethiopia's federal structure means power was traditionally derived by claiming the support of large ethnic voting blocs. Under the previous administration, voting was rarely free or fair and opposition activists were often jailed, tortured or driven into exile.
Abiy has allowed much greater political freedoms and promised the next polls will be free and fair.
(Production: Kumerra Gemechu, Nazanine Moshir)
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