Dozens protesting the murder of renowned artist Hachalu Hundessa in Ethiopia gathered in front of the Ethiopian embassy in London on Tuesday. Young Oromos, belonging to the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, were shouting protest slogans in Afan Oromo.
Shortly after their arrival, the young demonstrators began climbing over the metal fence around the embassy where they confronted embassy staff.
A video that streamed on social media shows one of the young protestors climbing the embassy high-wall and tearing down the Ethiopian flag. One of the protestors told Ogaden News Agency, that the incident was de-escalated by the police who arrived at the scene shortly after. No arrests were made and protest ended peacefully shortly after.
A related incident also occurred in Cannizaro Park in south-west London where the statue of Ethiopia’s last Emperor was destroyed by Ethiopian youth protestors. Haile Selassie lived in London during the Italian Occupation of Ethiopia.
The Oromo people are demonstrating to demand justice for Hachalu Hundessa who was shot and killed in Addis Ababa on Monday night. He was a singer and songwriter who used his talents to advocate for the rights of the historically marginalised Oromo people in Ethiopia.
Hachalu Hundessa recently spoke against early Abyssinian rulers including Menelik II in an interview with Oromia Media Network (OMN). He argued against erecting monuments for controversial past rulers and that the horses that Abyssinian rulers rode were the properties of the local people. It is widely believed that the artist’s comments on such monuments is what sparked the destruction of the statues of old Ethiopian rulers including that of Ras Makonnen torn down in Harar.