Emerging reports on social media indicate that Oromo protesters clashed with security forces in Addis Ababa on the morning of Tuesday, June 30, following the killing of a prominent musician and activist in the city. Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, a popular Oromo singer known for his political protest songs, was reportedly shot dead by unidentified assailants in the Akaki Kality area on the southern outskirts of the capital at around 23:30 (local time) on Monday, June 29. Police later announced that they had arrested several suspects and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed voiced sympathy over the incident. However, the exact circumstances of the shooting remain unclear.
Following news of Haacaaluu's death, hundreds of Oromo activists were reported to have gathered near St Paul's Hospital in the north-west Aba Koran area of the capital on Tuesday morning, demanding that the singer's body be released for burial. Clashes are reported to have subsequently broken out between activists and security forces who refused to release the body, with some on social media claiming that police had used live fire to disperse crowds. Tensions in the area remain high amid rumours that Haacaaluu's body was being transported to the Oromia region to prevent his burial in the capital.
Further unrest and associated security operations are likely in the near term.
Despite Abiy's appointment as Prime Minister in 2018 and the end of the widespread protest campaigns and a state of emergency in the Oromia region, tensions between the government and the Oromo community have remained high in Addis Ababa. Unrest and clashes between protesters and security forces have repeatedly broken out following the killing or arrest of prominent Oromo activists, amid claims that they are being discriminated against in the capital.
Those in Addis Ababa are advised to monitor developments, anticipate localized disruptions in the Aba Koran area, and heed any directives issued by local authorities. All demonstrations and political gatherings in Ethiopia should be avoided due to the high risk of incidental violence and aggressive crowd-dispersal operations by security forces.
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