The death toll from protests and violence outbreak in Ethiopia last week following the assassination of a popular Oromo singer and and activist Hachalu Hundessa has risen to 239, according to announcement of the authorities.
“Due to the unrest that occurred in the region, nine police officers, five militia members and 215 civilians have lost their lives,” acting police commissioner Mustafa Kedir said on state television on July 8.
Hachalu, 34, was killed on June 29, sparking unrest that spread from Oromia community where he was considered as an emblematic figure.
The motive of the assassins remains unclear. Previously Hachalu had received death threats. His songs focused on the rights of the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in a televised speech a day after Hachalu assassination, said that “internal and external forces” were responsible. The same forces, he alleged, were trying to prevent the singer from being taken back to his place of birth for burial.
Security forces made a number of arrests after a dispute at Hachalu’s funeral over whether the place of burial should be in the capital Addis Ababa or his birthplace of Ambo, some 100 kilometers to the west of the capital.
The Ethiopian government shut down internet in the entire country on June 30, after protests erupted in capital Addis Ababa and surrounding areas against the assassination of Oromo musician and social activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.
Somalia Mudug region governor was killed with three of his bodyguards in a suicide car bombing on May 17. The explostion was claimed by Islamist group al Shabaab, police said.
“A suicide car bomb hit the governor’s car. Governor Ahmed Muse Nur and three of his bodyguards died,” police captain Mohamed Osman told Reuters.
Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to topple Somalia’s western-backed central government and frequently carries out bombings in Somalia and elsewhere in the region. The group wants to establish its own rule in the Horn of Africa country, based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
“We are behind the explosion. It was a suicide car bomb. We killed Mudug region governor and his three bodyguards,” al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told media.
The same day the armed group posted a statement on a pro-Shabab website that said: “The governor of the apostate administration in the Mudug region was killed in a martyrdom operation in Galkayo today.”
Galkayo lies about 600km (375 miles) north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost most of its strongholds, but still controls vast swathes of the countryside.
Government of the Kigndom of Lesotho has agreed that Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who is accused of murdering his estranged wife, will resign without any further delay.
The deal brokered with the help of South African mediators is said to promise the Prime minister a “dignified and secure” exit from office.
Thabane has been under pressure to resign over persistent suspicions he was involved in the assassination in 2017, and his new wife has been charged. Both deny any involvement in the brutal murder. Gunmen shot and killed Mr Thabane’s then-wife Lipolelo Thabane on 14 June 2017. Officials charged Mr Thabane’s current wife Maesaiah with the murder this year, and also named Mr Thabane as a suspect – although he has not yet been formally charged.
It is not yet clear if he will agree to stand down immediately, as the deal indicates.