Inside Story

Can Ethiopia bridge its ethnic divide?

The killing of an ethnic Oromo singer-activist has led to days of violence in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has suffered days of unrest since the killing of a prominent musician and activist.

More than 90 people were killed in protests following the death of the ethnic Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa.

The 34-year-old was shot dead in Addis Ababa on Monday night. Large crowds gathered for his funeral in his hometown of Ambo on Thursday.

Hachalu’s songs focus on the rights of the Oromo people. They became anthems in the wave of anti-government protests between 2015 and 2018.

On Friday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held an emergency meeting over Hachalu’s killing. He says the assailants want to trigger civil unrest and de-rail Ethiopia’s democratic reforms.

So, how will Ethiopia face this crisis?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Laetitia Bader – horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch

Awol Allo – senior law lecturer at Keele University in the UK

David Shinn – former US ambassador to Ethiopia