(Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn gestures during his bail hearing inside of the New York State Supreme Courthouse in New York May 19, 2011/Richard Drew)

In a living room bare but for a few family photos and Islamic texts, the African man who says he is the brother of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser says he has not slept or eaten properly for days.

“I heard the news on the radio and honestly I do not know what happened. I want to speak to my sister,” the man, called Mamoudou, told Reuters at a village in the Labe region of Guinea, a hard day’s drive north of the capital Conakry.

Mamoudou, whose family name and home village are withheld to protect the identity of the alleged assault victim, said he had not heard from his younger sister for several years. But he had no doubt that she was the 32-year-old Guinean widow who filed the complaint in New York. Her name has appeared in local media.

In the community of devout Muslims, religion provides solace for those with troubles far away, and for poverty at home.