Media reports indicate that the prominent Oromo activist and musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, who was shot dead in Addis Ababa on Monday, June 29, is scheduled to be buried in his home town of Ambo on Thursday, July 2. The move follows widespread unrest in Addis Ababa and across the Oromia region on Tuesday, June 30, over Haacaaluu's murder, in which at least 52 people were killed.
Tuesday's protests reportedly broke out after Oromo activists in the capital prevented authorities from transporting Haacaaluu's body to Ambo, insisting that he be buried in Addis Ababa where he lived with his family. The body was airlifted to the Oromia region later in the day, but opposition to the move led to clashes between security forces and a group of armed Oromo activists led by Jawar Mohammed, the prominent leader of the Oromia Media Network (OMN). Jawar and his supporters are reported to have been among 35 people arrested during the clashes, with officials accusing them of killing a police officer after opening fire on security forces.
Tensions are high in Ambo and throughout the Oromia region ahead of Thursday's burial. A heightened security presence is likely in the town in the near term and there is a high risk of unrest and clashes in the area.
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 Ethiopia are advised to monitor developments 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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