8 KDF personnel feared dead in Lamu crash

The cause of the crash is yet to be established.

Kenya Defence Forces officers at Witu Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Lamu County on August 26, 2023
Image: FILE

At least eight Kenya Defence Forces soldiers are thought to have perished in the Lamu County chopper crash that occurred on Monday, September 18. What caused the collision has not yet been identified.

The Kenya Air Force Huey Helicopter crashed on Monday night as it was on a night patrol in Lamu County, according to the Department of Defence headquarters, which announced the incident on Tuesday.

The DoD acknowledged the crash but did not provide the death toll.

“The crew and other military personnel onboard were part of an air surveillance squadron intensifying day and night patrols and surveillance for the ongoing Operation Amani Boni,” DoD said in a statement.

“The leadership and entire KDF fraternity condole with the families of the crew. A Board of Inquiry has been constituted and dispatched to the scene to establish the cause of the crash.”

The investigative team was anticipated to arrive at the area Tuesday afternoon to start an investigation.

Kenyan troops are also present in Somalia as part of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to assist in the fight against the terrorist organisation al Shabaab. In October 2011, KDF travelled to Somalia.

Plans exist to remove the military from the region and hand control over to Somalia.

Numerous fatalities have been reported in the past few months alone near the Kenya-Somalia border as a result of the terror group's escalating attacks in Kenya.

Since the overthrow of Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has not had a stable government.

In Lamu, the KDF is a member of a multi-agency force engaged in significant operations in regions close to the Kenya-Somalia border despite intermittent attacks.

Numerous victims of the attacks, including security personnel, have died. While others treat their wounds.