Kenyan army head murdered in helicopter collision

(MENAFN) Kenya is mourning the loss of its defense chief, General Francis Ogolla, and nine other military officers following a tragic helicopter crash in the northwest region of the country. President William Ruto confirmed the incident, stating that the helicopter went down shortly after takeoff from Chesegon village.

General Ogolla and his team were on a visit to troops stationed in northwest Kenya to address issues of armed banditry and cattle rustling. The aircraft crashed just minutes after departing Cheptulel Boys Secondary School in West Pokot County. Sadly, only two survivors have been reported, and they are currently receiving medical attention.

President Ruto expressed deep sorrow over the loss of General Ogolla, describing him as one of the country's most valiant generals. General Ogolla, aged 61, had served in his position for one year, having previously led the Kenyan Air Force and served as the deputy military chief before being promoted to head of the military in April of the preceding year.

Born out of a commitment to serve his country, General Ogolla joined the defense forces in 1984 and underwent training as a fighter pilot with the United States Air Force. His dedication to duty and service saw him rise through the ranks to become an esteemed four-star general.

The tragic incident adds to a series of military helicopter crashes in Kenya over the past year, raising concerns about aircraft maintenance standards. This crash marks the fifth such incident within a year, with previous accidents attributed to alleged poor maintenance practices.

One of the notable helicopter crashes occurred in June 2021, resulting in the loss of at least ten soldiers during a training exercise south of Nairobi. The recurrence of such incidents underscores the need for rigorous oversight and improvements in maintenance protocols to ensure the safety of military personnel during operations and training exercises. MORE: Military transport plane crashes in Russia



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