Police told the court about Jawar Mohammed’s involvement in the incident that led to the killings of hundreds of people
Jawar Mohammed(left), Bekele Gerba (right) as they arrive for court appearance. Photo : from EBC video/Mereja TVborkenaJuly 16, 2020
A court in Lideta, Addis Ababa, allowed police on Thursday 13 more days to finalize an investigation on Jawar Mohammed, owner of Oromia Media Network and one of the leaders of Merera Gudina led Oromo Federalist Congress, according to a report by Ethiopian News Agency(ENA).
Police told the Court about the role that Jawar had in the ethnic and religious-based “violence” (observers say it was an act of ethnic cleansing, not violence) in the Oromo region of Ethiopia soon after the killing of Ethiopian Singer Hachalu Hundessa in late June 2020.
Oromo Regional State Police reported that 181 people have been killed in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, and firearms seized from a group that Jawar leads are illegal.
Other sources report that the number of people killed in the attack is at least 240. Nearly three hundred are wounded, and hundreds of residential homes and businesses, mostly belonging to followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church were destroyed.
Apart from having a role in what the police called “violence,” Jawar is being investigated in connection to the incident in the capital Addis Ababa in the days following the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa on June 29.
Police told the court that a crowd that Jawar led forcefully tried to enter the Oromia region Prosperity Party office, with the coffin of Hachalu Hundessa, which led to the killing of one police force. A policeman was shot dead and three others wounded in the ensuing scuffle with the security forces.
The court is told that the incident happened because of the order that Jawar Mohammed gave to his followers. The family and parents of Hachalu Hudessa wanted the body to be laid to rest in Ambo town, the birthplace of the singer.
Police also told the court that it had gathered evidence that Jawar made phone calls, apparently to different parts of the Oromo region of Ethiopia where he is believed to have hundreds of thousands of followers, inciting protests.
It is also said that 14 investigative teams are carrying out further investigation and additional evidence is being gathered.
In late October 2019, at least 86 people were killed, and hundreds wounded in the Oromo region of Ethiopia after Jawar Mohammed wrote a facebook update claiming that his life is endangered as the government withdrew security forces.
The government of Abiy Ahmed received widespread criticism for failing to hold him accountable for the loss of lives back then.
Now, many seem to be nodding to Abiy Ahmed’s administration move to enforce the rule of law in Ethiopia although there seems to be skepticism that radical forces within Abiy Ahmed’s government might arrange for the escape of Jawar Mohammed from prison.