News analysis

Charges state that Hachalu’s assassins were part of “OLF-Shane” anti-government plot

Female defendant allegedly lured singer to railway station entrance where assassin was waiting.

On 2 October, federal prosecutors charged four individuals with involvement in the assassination of the popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, a 29 June murder that triggered violence that killed more than 150 people in the following days.

According to the charge sheet obtained from the Attorney General’s Office, the defendants intended to advance their political agenda by committing assassinations in order to terrorize the population and “coerce” the government. They are being charged under the Article 32(1)(a and b) of the Criminal Code and Article 3(2) of the 2020 Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes Proclamation.

An individual called Gemechu, allegedly a member of Oromo Liberation Front-Shane (OLF-Shane, the name the government uses for the Oromo Liberation Army, an armed OLF splinter group active in western and southern Oromia) and whose father’s name is unknown, along with another unidentified individual, met the first defendant, Tilahun Yami, multiple times in June, around Gelan condominium in Akaki Kality Sub-City of Addis Ababa.

Prosecutors say Gemechu and the unidentified individual told Tilahun: The government in power is not benefiting Oromo people and we need to take it down by working together. In order to take down the government you need to take action against selected individuals. We will give you the details when the time arrives. Be prepared and wait.

Tilahun agreed and shared the mission with the second and third defendants when he met them around Gelan condominium in June. The other defendants then conspired with Tilahun to carry out the acts of terror. The second defendant, Kebede Gemechu, gave Tilahun a pistol and five bullets, which had been illegally purchased.

While the first three defendants were preparing and waiting to receive the details of their mission, the fourth defendant, Lamrot Kemal, met with a member of OLF-Shane, whose name is unknown and who has not been charged, around Mexico Square in Addis Ababa in June, according to the charge sheet. She allegedly was told: “This government is not beneficial for Oromos and it needs to be brought down. In order for the people to take down the government, it is necessary to assassinate selected individuals with popular support.”

Subsequently, she was instructed by the OLF-Shane contact that one of the targets is Hachalu. She was instructed to alert them the next time she plans to meet the singer and bring him to an agreed location so he can be assassinated.

Lamrot, prosecutors say, accepted the task and began preparations. On 29 June, after making plans with Hachalu, she confirmed with the unidentified individual that the assassin is prepared and will wait on the road that goes from Gelan condominium to the gate of Andode railway station in Oromia region.

She arranged to meet Hachalu at 6pm, and, after meeting, they drove to Gelan condominium in Hachalu’s car. Upon arrival, she asked Hachalu to drive towards Andode and, after arriving at the station entrance, she asked him to pull over, claiming that she was feeling unwell.

According to the charges, Gemechu, the OLF-Shane member who initially gave the order to Tilahun, then summoned the other three defendants from where they had been waiting nearby. Tilahun approached the driver’s door, and Kebede stood at the front passenger side. So that Hachalu could not escape, the third defendant stood at the back side of the car. Tilahun then shot Hachalu fatally in the back of the left side of his chest.

While the first three defendants successfully fled the scene, Lamrot was apprehended.

In a statement to police after his arrest, Tilahun admitted the killing. Lamrot told the court on 6 October that the charge is framed in a way that she cannot defend it and that she was not involved in the assassination. A judge said she will have a chance to present her defense.

Since the defendants had no lawyers, on 2 October judges had adjourned until 6 October. While the first three defendants said they have no means to hire an attorney, Lamrot said she had not found a legal representative willing to take the case on. Accordingly, the court ordered attorneys to be provided by the state for all defendants.

On 6 October, the court adjourned until 14 October and ordered the defendants to consult with their defense attorneys when they are appointed, and present bail requests and their defense arguments at the next hearing.

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Main photo: Hachalu during an interview with Oromia Media Network; Wikipedia.

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9 Comments

  • Abd or Al-Abd in Al-Qahirah and Riyadh means a ‘nigger’ and you couple that with Halim which is the ultimate subservient means a ‘house nigger’, Gitlow style at Ol’ Cap’n big house at el-Sisi joint. I will never walk around with a name ‘house nigger’. As an Ituu Algaa and Warra Baabo and as a beyond-repair Afro-Ethio-Centric awash with a Barentuu fervor I will not touch such a degrading name with a 14-ft pole. Never and ever!!! Just imagine someone walking around Bronx, Memphis, Southside Chicago and South Central LA with a name ‘House Nigger’. He/she will be either be stoned to death or mocked to a point of committing suicide.

  • I’m not surprised by this news. All these ethnic based groups have skeletons in their closets. Some are outright violent and are hell bent to found their own ‘republic’ along ethnic lines so they will have personal fiefdoms. There is one feature shared by all of them. They all despise an all inclusive struggle and that is why I gave them a deserved badge honor as bigots. Every member in the leadership role of every one of these ethnic group should know better as educated individuals(many of them are always seen dangling their PhD’s in our faces) to understand that the enormous problems that gem of the colored is facing cannot be solved by struggling all alone. I have refused to accept the argument that the problems that Oromo farmer is facing are all different in nature from what that Amhara farmer is facing be it political or economic. I never heard that Oromo is asking for green milk from a black cow. I never did say that. Have you? I’ve never heard a farmer or urban dweller from Amhara, Tigray or any other region asking for purple milk for an all blue cow. Have you? After living together in the same country for centuries these problems have become to have common causes. Let me put it this way for you(bigots notwithstanding). My Oromos will never and ever be able to overcome and do away these problems by struggling all alone. Our equally noble people of Amhara will never and ever be able to get rid of the problems that have been bedeviling them since they started saying ‘we are Amharas’ by struggling all alone. So goes for our noble peoples from Tigray, Somali, Afar, Sidama and all other regions. What is gonna happen if these ‘bigots’ led ethnic groups succeed in carving out a territory will be nothing but a personal fiefdom of a ‘liberator’ and his cabals. Do you want me to prove it to you? Well, well, well! My answer to you is ‘just look around’. You see. Oromia is such well endowed region with untapped natural resources that makes these bigots drool. The Amhara region is awash with untouched and hidden treasures in its belly that drives connivers go nuts salivating just thinking about it. The same goes for bigots from every region. That is why I want to see these bigots exposed and hit hard on every forum and media outlets. Enough is enough. You see, when such radical ethnicity pushers were telling an international media outlet that Oromos like me used to be imprisoned just for speaking Oromifaa, no one challenged them/him. All I remember is every member of my Itu clan has been speaking Oromifaa since speaking it from childhood until his/her last day on this good earth. All I remember(still is) is that every town from Mulu to the edges of Addis/Finfine had Oromifaa as lingua franca everyday of the week for centuries. Oromifaa was the main medium of haggling at market days the entire Western Hararghe region. Emperor Haile must have had prisons enough to hold millions of those who were caught speaking Oromifaa from the rest of the world even from those loud mouth young commies of the 1960’s. He must have been a much more sophisticated magician than Houdini, David Blaine, David Copperfield and Penn Jillette combined. So when that ‘human rights advocate’ was telling the same media outlet the exact number of Oromo prisoners nobody asked him to repeat that and challenged the claim. ‘There are 31,526(something to that effect) Oromo prisoners’. That person must have been standing at the gate of every prison to do the head count. When another one tells tales about the exact number of ‘Amharas only’ killed nobody had the guts to verify that. The fact is there were Oromos, non-Oromos and non-Amhara citizens both Christians and Muslims along with Amharas who were savagely victimized. What makes that ‘Neo-Gobena’ less of a human being than that ‘Neftegna’? What makes that Muslim shop owner from Gurage less of a human being than Christian farmer who were both victims of savage mobs incited by demonic bigots? They are all creations of The Almighty Our Creator. There is no article in the Holy Scriptures of our two major religions that depicts one human life less worthy than another.

    Even now I read similar biased claims on the social media outlets. I just read a posting the other day that goes ‘only in Ethiopia the majority ethnic group will be required a pass 4 cultural/religious celebration/to warship their God. Just a few days earlier millions came out to celebrate Timkat yet for Irressa special pass is required. Where is justice or fairness?’. That had angered me at the first glance. Then I did something that I always do, verify. So I called one of my merchant relatives to verify that claim for me. He told me from the get go that the Festival ‘Timkat’ celebrated by our Christian brothers and sisters takes place in the month of January and Irreechaa is in October. Was he wrong? He informed me the festival that took place a few days before Irreechaa was to celebrate the founding of Christianity and they do that with bonfire. He told me that there were no millions of people at the festival but not more than a few thousands. He told me that this Irreechaa festival was organized by a heavy involvement of Aba Gedaas. They were wise enough to understand the deadly danger of the COVID-19. But nobody challenged this intentionally prepared misinformation. I am doing the best I can to discredit this bold face lie. But that shouldn’t be a job left for me. Editors of such esteemed website and similar others should take such task as their blessed mission. That is because in every society there is a section among the population that does not possess the required sophistication to look thru every claim it hears or reads and this group of people is the one to be easily rattled. It is that gullible group of people that can turn extremely destructive and deadly on a dime. ‘Let’s ponder’ is not its forte. When it heard ‘The police is here to kill me’ it rushed into the streets in less than an hour killing and maiming innocent citizens in its path driven by irresponsible poisonous sermons it has been fed about ‘Neftegna and Neo-Gobenas’ for decades. ‘Hachalu was murdered by ‘Neftegnas’ was enough to drive this gullible and potentially violent group back into the streets killing and maiming ‘Neftegnas and Neo-Gobenas’ once again. Just look at the reaction this very falsified claim has got. To me every editor of every website and forum is guilty of dereliction of journalistic duties. I hope they will start living up to their expectations. Investigate, investigate and investigate. Thank you for giving me the chance to get it off my chest. Nuff said for now.

  • EPRDFites are from refugee camps in Sudan who feel inferiority complex until now, Abiy Ahmed included in these mentality because he was raised by Meles & Co.
    The only way these federalists people who got inferiority complex feel equal is if they attack people and get away with it. But that feeling they get from attacking to feel equal don’t last long so they got to keep attacking again and again to feel equal again . The only way for the EPRDFites federalists to feel good about themselves is if they succeed in doing what they know is inflicting harms on others, in their eyes federalism is their only source of feeling equality which allows them to inflict harms and get away with inflicting harms .

    If the federalists themselves get attacked and suffer harm then they claim they got harmed more severely than they deserved, because the harms they inflicted are just goofing around horse playing not serious , the federalists claim to be just doing harms on others in search of feeling good , feeling equality , trying to seek attention , trying to seek sense of belongingness to an equality , these federalists diminish the seriousness of the harm the federalists inflict by calling it just brotherly ethnic conflict not crimes against humanity not genocide.

  • USA government assisted the Ethiopian federal government by sending Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) experts to investigate who was behind the assassination attempt on PM Abiy Ahmed’s life and the first lady’s life and other Ethiopians liveing near them , who killed two bystanders people and injuring over 150 people who were gathered at the rally in Mesqel Square Addis Ababa on June the 23rd of 2018.

    FBI have completed it’s investigations and told Abiy Ahmed’s government it was OLF who sent the mercenaries who were responsible for the death of the two people while attempting to kill PM Abiy Ahmed and the first lady, these assassins got apprehended by the Addis Ababa’s public instantly right when the assassins threw the grenades at Mesqel Square in Addis Ababa on the day of June the 23rd of 2018.

    If FBI was called to help investigate who killed these two people in June of 2018 why was FBI not called upon to assist in the investigation of who killed Hachalu?
    Is it because the US Ethiopia relationship deteriorated since then?

    If OLF was responsible for Hachalu’s death then why is Eskinder in jail charged with terrorism? Takele Uma is alive and well. Many predict Takele Uma is much safer if Eskunder the peaceful Addis Ababa resident is out of jail because without Eskinder Takele Yma would have suffered, Edkinder was the one who was holding the Addis Ababa residents back from commiting terrorism.

    Why is Lidetu in jail after the court in Oromia said Lidetu is free to go out of jail? since Abiy Ahmed is alive and well.

    Why is Shimeles Abdissa antagonizing and stiring things up by holding Lidetu Ayalew hostage just like the Dembi adollo university students are held hostage in Oromia. Just like Dinqu Deyas held prisoners in his own prison Shimeles Abdussa’s government is holding Lidetu Ayalew hostage for weeks after the court ordered Lidetu to be released from jail.

    Who is antagonizing the OFC Jawar , Bekele and Querro trying to make them commit violence? Isn’t it Abiy Ahmed and Shimeles Abdissa who keep giving and taking away privileges to Jawar? Who appease Jawar then turn back around and antagonize him.

    Who is antagonizing TPLF by telling them -to obey Dr. Debretsion one day
    -then the next day telling TPLF we will send military to attack you
    -then the next day telling them we will cut budget from reaching the Tigray state
    – we will Cut communication with Tigray
    . What is with all these antagonizing and wishy washy leadership Abiy is doing? Is Abiy trying to make people violent so he can label them as terrorist and become the only contender for leadership?

    Close to ten thousamd mostly non Oromo people remain in jail for killing Hachalu while OLF is free. While Dawud Ibssa is free. While the Querro is free. While Shimelis Abdissa the nephtegna breaker is free. While Abiy Ahmed antagonizes Ethiopians to make terrorists out if them. While Abiy Ahmed gives the opposition a couch to sit on then when the opposition sat on the couch they were given Abiy Ahmed keeps shaking the couch to take the comfort out of sitting on a couch so the opposition get u comfortable , annoyed , antagonized and eventually get out of their comfort zone.

  • The public would have been served better if an independent investigative committee had been set up prior to taking the case to court. Police investigation, based on their record, is disputable. For instance, the police investigation of the death of the GERD general manager Simegnew Bekele created a lot of controversy and the result was considered implausible.

    Building public confidence in the Judicial system of the country is still a long way behind. It looks like political expediency has continued being given priority over justice the way it was before PM Abiy came to power.

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