Kenya investigates crash that killed military chief


Kenya’s government has launched an investigation into a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of military chief Gen Francis Ogolla and nine others. The cause of the crash remains unknown, and the team is working to determine what happened. The incident occurred in the northwest region of the country shortly after takeoff.

Among the 12 occupants of the military aircraft, Gen Ogolla was one of the victims. The bodies of those who died were transported to Nairobi, while the two survivors are receiving medical treatment. Gen Ogolla will be laid to rest on Sunday in his hometown in Siaya county.

President William Ruto declared three days of national mourning, expressing deep sadness over the loss. Gen Ogolla, appointed as Kenya’s Chief of Defence Forces in April last year, was praised as a brave officer who served his country with dedication.

Gen Ogolla had a long and distinguished military career spanning nearly four decades. He began as a 2nd lieutenant in the air force, eventually becoming the commander in 2018. His expertise included training as a fighter pilot and specialization in imagery intelligence, counter-terrorism, and accident investigation.

Despite some controversies surrounding his appointment, Gen Ogolla was respected for his leadership and dedication to his duties. His sudden death marks the first time a Kenyan military chief has died while in office, with plans for retirement next year.

The other victims of the crash were also named, including high-ranking military personnel. The incident has been met with sorrow and condolences from various leaders, including Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga and the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The officers were on a mission to address security concerns in Kenya’s North Rift region, which has been affected by banditry. They were tasked with reopening schools and supporting military efforts to stabilize the area. This tragic event comes after a similar helicopter crash in June 2021, highlighting the risks faced by military personnel in their line of duty.


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