President William Ruto shared sad news on Thursday, April 18, confirming the death of Chief of Defence Forces, General Francis Ogolla. The General lost his life in a tragic military helicopter accident that occurred in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Ruto Confirms Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla's Death in Helicopter Accident
Ruto Confirms Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla’s Death in Helicopter Accident

During a State of the Nation address at State House in Nairobi, President Ruto conveyed the unfortunate incident. He revealed that the helicopter, carrying 11 passengers, crashed, resulting in the loss of nine lives, including General Ogolla’s.

At around 2:20 pm, in the Sindar area of Keben location in Elgeyo Marakwet County, the nation faced the heartbreaking air accident. President Ruto expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla.

President Ruto remembered General Ogolla as an esteemed four-star general deeply dedicated to his duties. General Ogolla had embarked on a trip from Nairobi that morning aboard a Kenya Air Force Huey Helicopter. His mission included visiting troops stationed in the North Rift under Operation Maliza Uhalifu and overseeing renovations in five schools.

After addressing troops at the Kainuk Forward Operating Base in Turkana County and inspecting their operations, General Ogolla proceeded to the Recruits Training School in Uasin Gishu County. There, he planned to inspect construction projects at the institution. Unfortunately, the helicopter crashed shortly after take-off from Chesegon.

President Ruto, in his role as Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, expressed immense sadness over the loss. He emphasized the profound impact General Ogolla’s passing had on the entire nation and the KDF community.

President Ruto announced the formation of a team to investigate the cause of the accident. Additionally, he declared a three-day period of mourning, starting from Friday, April 19. During this time, flags across the nation, including the Kenyan flag, the East African flag, and military flags, will fly at half-mast.

Tragically, several military officials lost their lives alongside General Ogolla in the accident. They included Brigadier Swale Saidi, Colonel Duncan Keittany, Lieutenant Colonel David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu, Captain Sora Mohamed, Captain Hillary Litali, Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi, Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi, and Sergeant Rose Nyawira.

President Ruto’s announcement followed a National Security Council meeting convened at State House in Nairobi. High-ranking government officials present at the meeting included Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Defence CS Aden Dwale, National Intelligence Service head Noordin Haji, Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, and National Security Advisor Monica Juma.