Kenya mourns as Defence Chief, 9 others, die in helicopter crash

By Samuel Ogunsona

The Kenya national flag was cast at half mast on Thursday following the death of the East African country’s Chief of Defence Staff.

In Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, Government buildings were adorned with the Kenyan flag mounted in half cast to honor its defence chief, General Francis Omondi.

The military chief died with nine other military officers in a helicopter crash on Thursday.

The crash took place in Elgeyo Marakwet county, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of the capital, Nairobi.

The Kenya President, William Ruto, who announced the pass away of the Military Chief said with him was eleven other senior military officers where nine others pass on with just two survivors.

“Today at 2:20 p.m., our nation suffered a tragic air accident … I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of Gen. Francis Omondi Ogolla.

“Together with him in the crash were eleven other graded military personnel. Nine who also passed on today, and two survivors” President Ruto stated

Ruto stated that the Kenya military force has set up an air investigation team to establish the cause of the crash.

According to Ruto, he said the crashed happened shortly after it takeoff from Chesegon, where he and his entourage had been visiting a school.

“A distinguished four-star general has fallen in the course of duty and in the service of the country,” he said.

“Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals, gallant officers, service men, and women.

“The helicopter burst into flames after crashing, and it had more than 10 senior commanders on board, including Gen. Ogolla,” He said

Francis Ogolla, 61-years, was born February 12, 1962. He was appointed chief of Kenya’s Defence Forces April 28, 2023.

President Ruto had announced 3-days mourning with the country’s flag cut by half in honor of the victims.

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