Kenya military chief killed in helicopter crash

 Kenya’s military chief Gen. Francis Ogolla was among 10 people killed as a military helicopter crashed on Thursday, President William Ruto announced.

Ruto in an address to the nation declared three days of national mourning to honor the fallen heroes where flags will fly at half-mast.

He said the ill-fated Kenya Air Force helicopter departed from the capital Nairobi for the North Rift region as part of Operation Maliza Uhalifu (Swahili for End Banditry).

Gen. Ogolla, a distinguished four-star general, was en route to visit troops deployed in the area and to inspect ongoing school renovation projects.

“Together with him in the crash were 11 other gallant military personnel, nine who also passed on and two survivors,” Ruto said.

Nine others killed in the crash were senior military officers: Brig. Swale Saidi, Col. Duncan Keittany, Lt. Colonel David Sawe, Maj. George Benson Magondu, Captain Sora Mohamed, Captain Hillary Litali, Sr. Sgt. John Kinyua Mureithi, Sgt. Cliphonce Omondi, and Sgt. Rose Nyawira.

“Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals, gallant officers, service men and woman. The demise of Gen. Ogolla is a painful loss to me, and certainly, the sorrow we all feel about his passing is shared by all the people of Kenya, and especially the KDF fraternity,” the president said.

Ruto expressed profound sorrow over the accident, extending condolences to the families and loved ones of those who perished in the crash.

The Kenya Air Force has constituted and dispatched an air investigations team to establish the cause of the crash, he said.

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