- By David BoscoDavid Bosco, a Foreign Policy contributing editor and assistant professor at American University's School of International Service. He is at work on a book about the International Criminal Court's first decade.
Kenya’s second-in-command, William Ruto, wants to be at home to help deal with the mall attack by Islamic extremists. The problem? He’s on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over charges stemming from 2007-2008 violence. According to Reuters, Ruto’s lawyers have asked the court to grant him leave to return home:
Judges at the International Criminal Court will meet on Monday to decide if Kenya’s deputy president can return home to deal with the armed occupation at a Nairobi shopping mall in which 59 people have been killed, a person close to events said.
In a filing seen by Reuters, William Ruto’s lawyers had asked judges to meet in emergency session on Sunday to adjourn the trial. If it had been granted, Ruto could have left The Hague for Nairobi on Sunday evening.
Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, also faces an ICC trial slated to begin in November. Both Ruto and Kenyatta have insisted that they will continue to cooperate with the ICC, but court officials and human rights advocates have decried what they see as a quiet campaign to discourage witnesses from testifying.
On other fronts, the tussle between Nairobi and The Hague is much more open. Kenya’s Parliament recently supported withdrawing from membership in the court (that hasn’t happened yet). And at the regional level, Kenyan diplomats are reportedly encouraging large-scale withdrawals from the ICC by African states. The spectacle of Ruto pleading for permission to return home in the midst of a crisis may deepen official African discomfort with an institution many see as interfering with diplomatic processes.
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| The Cable |