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Careless talk about 'ruthless' Ruto

The leak of a caustic aside by the deputy head of the UN triggers a diplomatic furore

Of the over 500-gigabyte cache of classified defence documents in the so-called Pentagon leaks, a conversation between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his deputy Amina J Mohammed, a former environment minister in Nigeria, in mid-February has caused consternation in Kenya (AC Vol 61 No 20, Amina misses out again).

Mohamed is reported to have told Guterres, that Kenya's President William Ruto is 'ruthless' and that she does not trust him. 

Mohamed's views on Ruto will surprise few in Kenya or abroad but the revelations are embarrassing for her and some of her UN colleagues. They may also confirm Ruto's suspicions that he lacks allies in the international system despite his intensive wooing of western governments over the past year.

Ruto's social media machine has swung into action, blaming the leaks on opposition leader Raila Odinga. Insiders have warned that Ruto will ensure that UN officials pays a steep price for the diplomatic embarrassment (AC Vol 63 No 5, Alliances come under heavy fire). 

Lost in the coverage in Kenya is that the United States and many of the most powerful UN member states conduct intense surveillance inside the UN headquarters and beyond.

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