South Sudan diplomat accused of rape in New York

“It is with regret that our diplomat was involved in an alleged rape incident with a New York resident”said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a statement published Thursday evening on the government’s Twitter account.

“The diplomat in question has now returned to South Sudan and has been suspended, pending the outcome of this investigation”the statement says, saying that “Sexual misconduct in any form is abhorrent and completely unacceptable.”

Exempted by diplomatic immunity

The statement did not specify the nature of the charges against the diplomat, but US media said a woman accused him of forcing his way into his Manhattan apartment on Sunday and raping her. He was arrested and taken into police custody, who released him after he claimed diplomatic immunity.

The US State Department said on Wednesday that it “aware of the incident (…) involving a diplomat accredited to the UN”. “We take these allegations very seriously and are working closely with the NYPD and the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs.”State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

The youngest country in the world, South Sudan became a member of the UN on July 14, 2011, a few days after declaring its independence from Sudan on July 9.

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