Kenyan military chief killed in helicopter crash, president says

Mekelle:  19 April 2024 (Tigray Herald)

Kenyan military chief killed in helicopter crash, president says

Kenya’s military chief was among nine people killed in a helicopter crash Thursday, according to Kenyan President William Ruto.

General Francis Ogolla, Kenya’s chief of defense forces, was in the helicopter with 11 other military personnel. Two people survived the crash and are hospitalized.

Shortly after takeoff, the helicopter went down in Kenya’s Rift Valley, in the country’s west, and burst into flames, local media reported.

Ruto called the incident a “tragic moment” during a news conference.

“Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals,” Ruto said. “The demise of General Ogolla is a painful loss to me.”

Earlier, Ruto had convened an urgent meeting of the Kenyan security council.

Ogolla joined the Kenya Defense Forces in 1984, where he trained as a fighter pilot with the United States Air Force and as an instructor pilot at the Kenya Air Force, according to a Defense Ministry profile.

Ogolla ended up heading the Kenyan air force before rising to deputy military chief.

Ruto promoted Ogolla to lead the military last year. At the time, Ruto accused Ogolla of taking part in an attempt to overturn the 2022 presidential election results, but said he was the most qualified person for the job.

Some information is from Reuters.

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