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Kenya mourns Chief of Defence Forces-Ogolla

The Chief of Kenya Defense Forces (CDF), Francis Omondi Ogolla, is dead.

General Ogola died following a military helicopter crash at Sindar, Kaben, in Elgeyo Marakwet on Thursday afternoon.

Nine others who perished alongside General Ogolla in the tragic crash were 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 William Ruto, while confirming the passing on of CDF Ogolla and the nine gallant soldiers, declared a three-day national mourning where the National Flag and those of all military formations as well as regional flags will fly at half-mast across the country and diplomatic missions abroad in honour of the departed soldiers.

“Today at 2:20 pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident at Sindar area, Kaben location, Tot division, in Elgeyo Marakwet County. I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces,” President Ruto announced.

The Commander in Chief of the Defense Force, President Dr. William Ruto and the Chief of Kenya Defense Forces (CDF), Francis Omondi Ogolla in a light moment at State House, Nairobi. File picture

The military personnel led by General Ogolla, left Nairobi for the North Rift on Thursday, April 18th, to visit soldiers deployed in the volatile area as well as inspect the progress of the renovation of five schools in Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties.

The General also visited Turkana County, where he met and spoke to troops deployed there before flying to West Pokot County.

The bodies of the departed were flown to Embakasi Airbase in Nairobi last evening and taken to the  KDF Memorial Hospital awaiting funeral arrangement.

Leaders in the country and across the world delivered their condolences to the Commander in Chief of the Defense Force, President Dr. William Ruto, Family, relatives, Military fraternity, and Kenyans in General.

Among the leaders who mourned the CDF Ogolla and the departed soldiers were Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Azimio Leader, Raila Odinga, Defense CS Aden Dwale, Interiour CS Kithure Kindiki, Cabinet Secretary for Education Dr. Ezekiel Machogu and Speakers of both Parliaments, Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi.

Among the Heads of State who sent the messages include Samia Suluhu of Republic of Tanzania and other foreign missions in Nairobi.

By Ian Chepkuto and Edwin Langa’t

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