A very popular Ethiopian musician Hachalu Hundessa has been shot dead in the capital Addis Ababa.
Hundessa, 34 is well known for his political songs and had received death threats because of that.
Most of his lyrics had focused on the rights of the country’s Oromo ethnic group and were used during previous protests.
His death has sparked agitations and protests with protesters setting tyres on fire with reports of gunshots.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd that had gone to a hospital where his body was.
#BREAKING Massive protests are currently going on in Addis Ababa & other parts of Ethiopia after a well-known singer was murdered last night in Addis Ababa. Hundessa’s songs are in the Oromo language were played during the protests that led to the resignation of the former gov’t. pic.twitter.com/Hg9CCQaspX
— Mowliid Haji Abdi (@MowliidHaji) June 30, 2020
Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has expressed his condolences saying “We have lost a precious life. Since the death of the young artist of this magnificent and vibrant young artist, I wish for comfort for all of us who are in deep sorrow.”
He adds that “We are awaiting an investigation report. We are at a time when we are keenly aware of the magnitude of the action and focus on activities in our country. May we express our grief by protecting ourselves and preventing further crime.”
ለመላው የሀገራችን ህዝቦች ፤
ውድ ህይወት አጥተናል። የዚህ ድንቅና አንፀባራቂ ወጣት አርቲስት ሓጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ህይወት መቀጠፍ ከተሰማ ጀምሮ በከባድ ሀዘን ውስጥ ለምንገኝ ሁሉ መፅናናትን እመኛለሁ ። የዚህን ክፉ ድርጊት ሙሉ የፖሊስ 1/2
— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) June 29, 2020
The Oromo is Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but it has long complained of political and economic marginalisation.
There have been several demonstrations starting in 2016 to force reforms, something that led to the exit of the previous prime minister.
On social media many prominent Ethiopians have spoken about the musician’s death.
በአርቲስት ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ግድያ የተሰማኝን ጥልቅ ሀዘን እየገለፅኩ ለቤተሰቦቹ ፣ ለወዳጅ ዘመዶቹ እንዲሁም ለመላው አገራችን መፅናናትን እመኛለሁ፡፡ pic.twitter.com/8mSsZSGF0q
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) June 30, 2020
I am heartbroken and devastated at the news of the death of our brother Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Our nation has lost an icon, a giant leader, a hero and I have lost a friend. My heart goes out to his family, friends and our people. pic.twitter.com/lpwgpHlGgJ
— Obang Metho (@ObangMetho) June 30, 2020
My deepest condolences to the people of Ethiopia on the shocking murder of Hachalu Hundessa, one of the finest musicians of his generation.
His music, protest lyrics united and galvanised the whole nation, let not his death sow division.
Rest in Peace Legend ! pic.twitter.com/q1SwIe1u6C
— Rashid Abdi (@RAbdiCG) June 30, 2020