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A BUST of former Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie has been smashed in a London park in apparent retaliation for the murder of an African singing star. About 100 people carried out the attack on the statue in Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, that may be linked to unrest after the death of Hachalu Hundessa.

The prominent opposition figure, cherished in Ethopia’s Oromia region, was shot dead while driving in Addis Ababa last week. Wimbledon resident Andrew Morris, 53, was walking his dog Archie on Tuesday when he saw a mostly male group carrying fliers bearing Oromo slogans.

‘I heard all this noise and thought there must be some festival going on or an unauthorised rave,’ he said. ‘I heard the statue being smashed up, but didn’t see it happen. They weren’t some rabid mob, they looked pretty calm.’

Haile Selassie was emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He is revered by the Rastafarian movement but ethnic Oromos say they were oppressed under his reign. He lived in Wimbledon in 1936 during his exile following the Italian invasion of his country, and the statue was made by sculptor Hilda Seligman while he stayed with her family.

Mr Morris said: ‘Part of me thinks the statue toppling is pointless, yet for the people who did it, it might be cathartic.’ Source Metro

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