CAPE TOWN – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Ethiopian musician and Oromo activist Hachalu Hundessa, while a third suspect remains on the loose, international news channel Al Jazeera reported.
Ethiopia’s Attorney General Adanech Abebe announced on Friday that the suspected attacker and an accomplice had been arrested, while another suspect remained at large. The two arrested suspects had not yet been formally charged.
“We have arrested those who killed him and those who collaborated in the killing. The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” Adanech reportedly said.
Al Jazeera reported that the attackers were acting on orders from an anti-government group called the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). However, the BBC reported that the suspects involved had acted on orders to kill Hundessa by a breakaway group from the OLF, called Shane, which had held three meetings with the suspects to plan Hundessa’s assassination.
The OLF is an Ethiopian political party, but has previously called for self-rule in the Oromia region by means of force. Oromia is the homeland of the Oromo people in Ethiopia, the country’s largest ethnic group which makes up 34 percent of the population, according to Reuters news agency.
Human Rights Watch, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the International Crisis Group have all called for transparent investigations into Hundessa’s murder.
Violent unrest erupted in Ethiopia following the assassination on June 29 in the East African country’s capital Addis Ababa. According to Al Jazeera, at least 239 people have died, allegedly at the hands of Ethiopia’s security forces and through ethnic violence.
The BBC has reported that about 4500 people have been arrested since the start of the unrest, including opposition political party members and government officials.
– African News Agency (ANA)