Kenya: helicopter crash with army chief on board

A helicopter with several military officials on board including the head of Kenya's armies, General Francis Omondi Ogolla, crashed Thursday in the west of the country, a police source told AFP.

The Presidency announced that Head of State William Ruto had convened a “emergency meeting” of the National Security Council, following the crash of an army helicopter in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, about 400 kilometers northwest of the capital Nairobi.

“The helicopter caught fire after crashing and there were more than ten high-ranking commanders on board, including General Ogolla”a senior national police officer told AFP.

“They (military officials) were in the area on a security mission as soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces are deployed in the area,” prey to gangs of bandits, he added.

Contacted by AFP, the Ministry of Defense referred to the presidency for any comment.

“President William Ruto has convened an urgent meeting of the National Security Council at State House in Nairobi this evening following the crash of a Kenya Defense Force helicopter this afternoon in the Elgeyo-Marakwet County”, announced presidential spokesperson Hussein Mohamed on X.

The National Security Council brings together the heads of the main bodies and agencies responsible for the country's security.

Aged 61, Francis Omondi Ogolla was appointed a little less than a year ago, 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.

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