Kenya: chief of staff and several officers killed

Kenya in mourning after the death of General Ogolla

Kenyan President William Ruto has declared three days of national mourning following the death of army chief General Francis Ogolla in a helicopter crash in the west of the country.

President William Ruto has announced three days of national mourning following the loss of General Francis Ogolla, head of the Kenya Defense Forces. The helicopter crash, which occurred Thursday in a remote area near the border with Uganda, also claimed the lives of nine other people out of the eleven on board.

The exact circumstances of the accident remain unclear, but it was confirmed that General Ogolla was on a tour of the western region of the country, an area often faced with unrest and attacks by local bandits. At 61, General Ogolla was appointed chief of the Kenya Defense Forces in April 2023, taking over from General Robert Kibochi.

Even before his appointment, General Ogolla had been at the heart of a political controversy, accused by the chairman of the country's electoral commission of having participated in a National Security Council delegation that attempted to influence the 2022 general elections to the detriment of President Ruto.