President Suluhu, Raila lead in mourning tragic death of CDF Francis Ogolla


• Ogolla took over as CDF on April 28, 2023.

• Raila said he was deeply saddened by the passing of the General.

Gen Francis Ogolla

Azimio Leader Raila Odinga mourned the tragic death of Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla.

Francis Ogolla died after a chopper he was travelling in alongside other officials crashed in Kaben, Marakwet East on Thursday.

Ogolla took over as CDF on April 28, 2023.

Raila said he was deeply saddened by the passing of the General.

"A terrible day for Kenya: My wife Ida and I are deeply saddened and profoundly shocked by the passing of General. Francis Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces. We join the nation in mourning his loss."

Raila termed him as a true patriot, a highly decorated soldier, and a consummate professional who served our country with unwavering dedication.

"Our hearts go out to his family, his colleagues in the KDF, and the entire nation as we grieve this immense loss."

Raila also condoled with the families of the other nine people who perished in the crash.

"We also extend our very heartfelt condolences to the families of the KDF team who were accompanying Gen. Ogolla. We know that at this moment words will not be enough to console your tremendous grief. We pray the Lord may give you comfort. May the souls of all those who have departed find eternal peace," Raila said.

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu also sent her condolences.

"I have received with great sadness the news of the death of the Chief of Defense Forces of the Republic of Kenya, General Francis Omondi Ogolla, and nine other soldiers in a helicopter accident that happened today in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

"I send my condolences to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenyan Defense Forces Williams Ruto, all Kenyans, families, relatives, friends of all those who lost their relatives in the accident. A lot of pollen," Suluhu said.

"May God rest the souls of our brothers in heaven. Amen."

President William Ruto after officially confirming Ogolla's death said he was saddened by the accident that occurred at 2.20 pm.

"I'm deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces," Ruto said during his address to the nation at State House, Nairobi.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned Francis Ogolla as a "devoted patriot who dedicated his life to serving and protecting our beloved country."

"It is with great sadness that I have learned of the tragic passing of  Ogolla. His untimely demise in a helicopter crash at the Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties is a significant loss for our nation," he said.

"The CDF was not only an accomplished military leader but also a devoted patriot who dedicated his life to serving and protecting our beloved country."

Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Masika Wetangula gave out his condolences to the grieving families.

"May the bereaved find solace in knowing that he died while steadfastly serving his country with honor and defending the cause of peace. His unwavering commitment to duty remains unparalleled, leaving behind a legacy of distinguished service to the nation," Wetangula said.

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman said: "I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Chief of Defense Forces General Ogolla and all the families of the victims of this terrible crash."

"I had the honor of working with General Ogolla and had great respect for his integrity and dedication to the Kenyan people. He was a great friend of the United States and helped advance the U.S.-Kenya partnership," she said.

First Lady Rachel Ruto said: I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF). Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Aieleen Ogolla, and the family during this difficult time. We also remember the other families affected by this unfortunate accident and pray that God comforts and strengthens them.Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

State Department for Internal Security PS Raymond Omollo said: With heavy hearts and profound sorrow, we mourn the untimely passing of the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Francis Ogola, in a tragic chopper crash in Kaben, Marakwet East, West Pokot County. In the wake of this devastating loss, words seem inadequate to convey the depth of our grief. Rest in peace, General!

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