Kenya: chief of staff and several officers killed

Kenya: chief of staff and several officers killed

Kenyan President William Ruto announced that General Francis Omondi Ogolla and nine other military officials lost their lives on Thursday in a helicopter crash in the west of the country.

“Today at 2:20 p.m., our nation was affected by a tragic air accident in the Sindar region (…) in Elgeyo Marakwet County. I am deeply saddened to announce the death of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces”declared Kenyan President William Ruto after an urgently convened meeting of the Security Council. “With him during the accident were eleven other valiant soldiers, nine who also died with him and two survivors”he added.

These military officials were visiting this region, located 400 kilometers from Nairobi, in particular to “visit troops deployed in the North Rift as part of Operation Maliza Uhalifu”(“stop crime”in Swahili), intended to combat the groups of bandits who are sowing terror there, said the president.

Indeed, the accident took place while they were on their way to inspect the construction work of a recruit training center in the neighboring county of Uasin Gishu. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. A team of air force investigators was dispatched to establish the causes of the accident.

Aged 61, Francis Omondi Ogolla was appointed head of the armed forces on April 29, 2023, by President William Ruto. Having attended the Paris Military School and the National Defense College of Kenya, he began his career in April 1984 in the air force, according to the website of the Kenyan Ministry of Defense. Married and father of two children, he had one grandchild.