icon search icon search icon facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon weather

Senior UN official: President Ruto is ruthless, I don’t trust him

Senior UN official: President Ruto is ruthless, I don’t trust him
President William Ruto with Ms Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations at State House, Nairobi, on October 5, 2022 | Credit | Courtesy

A trove of highly confidential documents leaked from the US military’s tightly guarded registries has thrust Kenya on the path of a potential diplomatic storm, as they suggest that at least one member of the United Nations’ (UN) top brass has a deep mistrust for President William Ruto.

The unidentified man allegedly leaked the data in batches starting last year, posting them in a social media group under Discord — an instant messaging social platform — where most members did not understand what was being dumped.

Confidential chit-chat between UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his deputy Amina Mohammed in mid-February sticks out like a sore thumb in the over 500-gigabyte document cache, as it indicates that the US could have been spying on the two bosses for an unspecified period of time.

In one of the conversations that seemingly occurred after the December 2022 African leaders summit in Washington D.C., Ms Mohammed allegedly told her boss, Mr Guterres, that President William Ruto is “ruthless” and that she does not trust him.

At the moment, no context has been given regarding Ms Mohammed’s comments. There is also no confirmation of whether the conversation was formal or casual chit-chat between two colleagues.

The comments, however, have revealed a possible paper-thin relationship between the UN and Kenya after Dr Ruto’s ascent to power following the August 9, 2022, presidential election.

Juggling act

Aside from dealing with the US spying allegations, the UN top brass will have to juggle between handling the embarrassment caused while patching up relations with countries and leaders who may be offended by the alleged comments.

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs CS Alfred Mutua had also not responded to our queries on Kenya’s diplomatic options going forward.

Some of the documents leaked indicate that the US believes that Mr Guterres is uncomfortably open to Russian interests.

The US and Russia have for ages had tension stemming from varying ideological, political and economic differences.

Washington’s opinion on Mr Guterres is on account of a stand the UN boss took when negotiating a truce between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey that was to see safe transport of foodstuff from Kyiv.

The deal, commonly referred to as the Black Sea Grain Initiative was struck last year amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

As Kenya largely sources wheat and fertilisers from Russia and Ukraine, hence it was expected to be one of the beneficiaries of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The leaks have also revealed that Ukraine may have planned to attack Russia amid their conflict and revealed that Western nations sent elite military fighters to assist Kyiv.

The US, UK, France, Latvia and the Netherlands collectively sent 47 elite fighters to assist Ukraine in defending its territory from Russian invasion.

Despite the planned counter-attack getting support from Western nations, the US allegedly felt it had little chance of success.

It also indicates that South Korea was uncomfortable with bowing to US pressure to deliver arms to Ukraine, in fear of getting into Russia’s bad books.