Ethiopia is presented as a promising country economically, but the ethnic tensions could be a result of the optimism for this country, which is undergoing a transition policy delicate led by his Prime minister, the Nobel Prize-2019 of the peace Abiy Ahmed. In the afternoon, as it has been for several days, Firaol Ajema and his friends gathered at Legetafo, near Addis Ababa, to listen together to the songs of Hachalu Hundessa, singer and star of ethiopia who was recently assassinated. All donned t-shirts black adorned with the portrait of the singer and the slogan "I'm also Hachalu" to celebrate the memory of the star that the murder, unresolved, has resulted in an upsurge of violence which has left more than hundred dead. An undetermined number of these victims had been killed by the security forces and others were injured in clashes between members of various communities.
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members of the community, the oromo pray for the memory of Hachalu Hundessa in Minneapolis, July 4. © Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The ethnic federalism put to the test
violence that highlighted ethnic tensions growing in Ethiopia. Since his accession to power, Abiy Ahmed has tried to reform a system heretofore very authoritarian. But, in doing so, he has opened the door to the communal violence that put a strain on the system, ethiopian ethnic federalism. "We have not been able to mourn as we would have wanted ", explains Firaol, a student. "The murder (of Hachalu), we were deeply saddened, but the way in which the government has handled worse things ", - approves one of his friends, Birhanu Gadis. "It is totally unacceptable. "
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Singer, Hachalu Hundessa was also, and especially, one of the voices of the oromo voice to be listened to. Here, an Oromo, flailing their flag symbol. © Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The question of the oromo as embers under the ashes
Although appreciated Ethiopians of diverse backgrounds, Hachalu Hundessa has especially been the voice of the Oromo, who had denounced their marginalization and economic policy during anti-government protests that culminated in 2018 on the arrival of the Prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, a member of this community. His texts very policies expressed the frustrations of this ethnic group, the most important by the number, but which has long felt marginalized economically and politically. Today, many nationalist oromo feel betrayed by the Prime minister, whom they accuse of not doing enough to defend the interests of its community, and to have left the security forces open fire on protesters in Addis Ababa and Oromiya region, the largest of the federated States of ethiopia, which surrounds the capital.
members of the community of the oromo in Minneapolis to celebrate the singer Hachalu Hundessa. © Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Addis Ababa as the place of burial of the singer Hachalu, the other issue
As Addis Ababa, which Oromos call Finfinne, the name of the territory of the city prior to its creation in the late Nineteenth century by the emperor Menelik II, is at the heart of the current crisis : located in the territory of the oromo, it has a special status, and the Oromos believed to have been moved to the thread of the story. This is a plan of the federal government providing for the extension of the capital to the Oromia that had sparked, in 2015, the anti-government protests.
This week, it is the desire of the nationalists and the oromo to see Hachalu be buried in Addis Ababa, and not in his hometown of Ambo, 100 km to the west of the capital, who set fire to the powder. "Hachalu was to be buried in Addis Ababa. Finfinne belongs to the oromo people ", pounds Firaol. According to the federal authorities, of the nationalists and oromo people with in their ranks, a popular opposition leader, Jawar Mohammed, were intercepted Tuesday, the remains of Hachalu between Addis Ababa, where the singer has been murdered, and Ambo, where he was to be buried, back in the capital, causing a standoff with police and the arrest of Jawar Mohammed, which has further aggravated the tensions. And Thursday, at the funeral in Ambo, soldiers opened fire on a group wanting to attend the funeral, killing two people.
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The statue of Menelik II as the apple of discord
last month, Hachalu had called for the removal of the statue is a prominent of the emperor Menelik II, in the district of Piasa of the capital, now under police protection. If Menelik is respected by many as the founder of the Ethiopia that is modern, it is from his reign that the nationalist oromo dating back to the beginning of the marginalisation they condemn. For Firaol, the death of Hachalu on one side, the police protection around the statue of Menelik on the other testify to the priorities set by the government. "Then they would have had to protect Hachalu, they were protecting a statue. Hachalu was not only an individual, he was like the eyes of the oromo people. Now, they have us blinded ".
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