Ethiopia: American Election Observer Found Dead in Addis Ababa

An American citizen, who was in Ethiopia to observe its sixth general election, was found dead in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday.

John Marsh was a member of the Carter Center team of observers.

"An American citizen was found dead in his bedroom at the Radisson Blu Hotel," the Addis Ababa Police Commission said in a statement, confirming what sources had told Nation.Africa.

A worker at the hotel, who requested anonymity, had said: "At about 7 o'clock in the morning, our hotel room cleaner saw him on the ground next to his bed when she went to clean the bedroom."

"She reported what she saw to the police, who immediately came to the scene, where they found him dead."

The Carter Center extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of John Marsh, who died unexpectedly yesterday in #Ethiopia, where he was working with us on a social media monitoring project. pic.twitter.com/6oAD4W06OM

- The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) June 22, 2021

The cause of death was not immediately established, police saying a postmortem would be carried out and that an investigation was underway.

The probe is by the Addis Ababa Police Commission, in collaboration with the Federal Police Commission and the US Embassy in Addis Ababa.

Police earlier said a special election observer's badge, various identity cards and a driver's licence, with the words "National Driving License in California, USA", were found in Marsh's pockets.

Although no official report was released on Tuesday, sources close to the case said the death may have been due to an illness.

Police said they found medicines at the scene and that the death may have been natural. They noted that the body did not have any visible injuries.

In a tweet, the Carter Centee sent a condolence message to Marsh's family and friends.

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