The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations protects foreign envoys from detention or arrest during their posting, but can in rare cases be waived by their home country. Still, it has been invoked to dodge responsibility for everything from petty theft to assault, tax evasion, and homicide.
South Sudan suspended one of its envoys to the United Nations as a consequence of sexual assault allegations on Thursday, claiming that it was investigating the matter.
“As a government we have worked tirelessly since our inception to ensure that the rights of women and girls are protected,” the ministry added.
Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, 46, was a lifelong diplomat assigned by South Sudan to the permanent UN mission. He was arrested on Sunday evening by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers following a woman’s report that Oliha had raped her in her dela Fort George apartment.
The alleged victim was taken to Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where a rape test was performed, the Post noted, adding that it was unclear if the NYPD had collected a DNA sample from Oliha while in custody.
The South Sudanese Foreign Ministry called it “regretful” that Juba’s relationship with Washington had been “jeopardized” by the incident.
“We are committed to working closely with the relevant US authorities to take the appropriate action, following the outcome of all investigations,” the ministry said.
He pointed out that there has been some early misreporting on the matter and added that the person in question does directly for the UN.