Ethiopia Oromos protest on Hachalu Hundesa shooting, web blocked
The shooting of Hachalu Hundesa on Monday night in Addis Ababa has shocked the nation, as millions of Ethiopians woke up to the news of the iconic Oromo singer song writer’s murder.
The shooting took place around 9:30 pm local time in the city’s Kality area. Addis Ababa Police said a number of suspects have been detained and that an investigation is ongoing. Thousands of outraged fans across the country have taken to the streets demanding justice. In an attempt to quell the riots and prevent news coverage of them, the Ethiopian government has shut down internet services nationwide.
Outraged fans have clashed with police in several Ethiopian cities and seven people have died in the chaos thus far. Protests are confirmed to be taking place as far away as the city of Harar, 516 kilometers east of Addis Ababa.
Even though the internet has played a decisive role in transforming the lives of millions in Ethiopia, the current and previous governments have taken to regularly demanding the state telecoms monopoly to shut down the internet during security incidents, for example, recently in the Wollega province of the Oromia region.
With a growing use of internet-based services from banking to commodity exchanges, the shutdowns have come at immense economic cost. It’s estimated that the month-long shutdown in 2016 under prime minister Desalegn cost the country $8 million. The two-week blackout in 2019 under current prime minister Abiy Ahmed is estimated to have cost the country $66.87 million.
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