By PATRICK JARAMOGI
JUBA, South Sudan[ SHIFTMEDIA] Call it a “Diplomatic Shame”, or whatever, but we can report here that the South Sudanese Diplomat accused of raping his neighbor in a New York apartment is being probed.
Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, a father to four kids aged one, three, five and eight was whisked out of New York amidst a barrage of demands from activists for his “Head”.
Neighbors at his Fort George apartment located in 191st Street in upper Manhattan near the Bronx told Daily Mail that the 46 year old diplomat since 2008 is a known ‘Drunk’ with ‘uncouth’ behavior not befitting a diplomat.
‘Everyone knows him around here as a drunk, he drinks every night on that front step. He’s not a diplomat. In the morning he’s a gentleman in his suit. In the evening he’s a drunk. He sits on those steps every day drunk and drinking,” neighbors told Daily Mail.
The South Sudanese Undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mayen Dut Wol confirmed to Shiftmedianews.com News that Imene Oliha is being investigated and has already been stripped of his duties as a diplomat.
“We are glad he has returned back to South Sudan, though no formal complaint has been filed with us, we condemn his acts, and are seriously investigating this embarrassing behavior,” said Mayen. He said as South Sudan they only got wind of the incident through media reports.
“The leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation took the decision to immediately recall the diplomat in question, pending a full investigation from a specialized committee,” he said.
Liturgy of events
According to New York Police Department Oliha Charles Dickens Imene, the Founder of the National Frontiers Party in South Sudan was reported by a lady (Names withheld), who happened to be his neighbor. The distraught lady accused the diplomat of forcing his way her into her room before raping her twice.
Imene, the South Sudanese Permanent Mission Representative to the United Nations reportedly, first raped his neighbor using a condom and later without a condom.
The 24-year-old victim told police she had been out walking her neighbor’s dog when Oliha approached her and said he wanted to come to her apartment.
“He followed me into my unit and raped me twice – once with a condom and once without – then he fled,” she told NYPD.
The woman had never met Oliha before and reported the attack after a friend convinced her to do so, according to the sources. The woman was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia in Washington Heights, near where she lives, to be evaluated.
Oliha was taken into custody but was released on Monday morning after invoking his diplomatic immunity.
The stunned neighbors said though Imene used to tell everyone he worked for the UN no one believed him because he was always drunk.
‘It wasn’t until this happened that we all were like wow he wasn’t lying,’ one neighbor, who declined to be named, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday as cops stood guarded outside Oliha’s wife’s apartment.
New York Police kept tight guard at the former diplomats home to safeguard Oliha’s family, whom neighbors said didn’t know English.
After a discussion with police lawyers, the diplomat was released at about 5 a.m. Monday.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office was still “actively investigating” the rape allegation “as well as supporting the survivor through our Witness Aid Services Unit” spokeswoman Emily Tuttle said.
The statement from South Sudan diplomatic officials said “sexual misconduct in any shape or form is heinous and wholly unacceptable.”
Not new to such acts
Back home in South Sudan residents weren’t surprised about the news of Oliha escaping rape charges.
According to the Sudan Tribune Oliha is known “Miscreant diplomat”. They knew him for his “undiplomatic behaviors during private functions and going to off-limits places in the areas of his assigned locations.”
UN Denies knowledge
The United Nations in a statement noted that no formal complaint has been filed with their offices so far.
“Nobody came out to lodge the complaint against one of diplomats at our mission to the United Nations. If such incident has occurred, it would have been brought to our attention through appropriate and official channels,” he said. “This has not happened as far as I’m concerned.”
Foreign diplomats have escaped justice in a variety of cases over the years, including two Sudanese diplomats accused in city sex attacks in 2017.
“This remains an ongoing investigation,” the NYPD’s deputy commissioner, Julian Phillips, told the The Guardian, noting that it was a “state department matter”.
New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, also commented on Oliha’s arrest and subsequent release, saying that an investigation was under way.
The mayor further said that “sexual assault of any kind should never be tolerated”.
Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary general, said: “We are aware of this report, which is very concerning. Any case of alleged sexual assault needs to be fully investigated.
“This particular case involves a member of the Permanent Mission of South Sudan who is not a staff member of the United Nations. This is a bilateral issue between South Sudan and the US authorities,” Dujarric added. “We will continue to follow the situation.”
The Guardian 0reported that there has been an outrage among sexual violence advocates following news of Oliha’s release.