South Sudan News Makers: Dr. Lam Akol
Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin is a renowned South Sudan opposition leader heading a breakaway faction of the SPLM Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), which he founded 6 June 2009.
He holds a Doctorate Degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College London. Dr. Akol as fondly called has also taught at the University of Khartoum.
Akol joined the SPLA in 1986 after having been a clandestine member since October 1983. In 1991 he joined Riek Machar and Gordon Kong to break from the SPLA and form the SPLA-Nasir.
In 1993 the name of their faction was changed to SPLM-United. He was dismissed by Machar 1994 and became chairman of one faction of SPLM/A-United following unity with senior SPLA commanders who were under detention by orders of John Garang.
He subsequently signed the Fashoda Peace Agreement with the government in 1997 and was appointed in March 1998 Sudan’s Minister of Transportation, a post he held for four years.
In 2002 Dr. Akol resigned from the ruling National Congress (NCP), and became a key member of the newly formed opposition Justice Party. He, with most of his forces, rejoined the SPLA in October 2003
In 2005 Dr. Akol wrote a piece detailing his role as a negotiator on behalf Garang in the initiation of Operation Lifeline Sudan in the wake of the CPA.
He was among the top leaders leaders from the south to became ministers when the Khartoum government offered the SPLA several other key ministries as part of the 2005 peace agreement (CPA). He was subsequently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In October 2007, the SPLM withdrew from the Khartoum government; it demanded, among other things, that Akol be removed from his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, as he was accused of being too close to the regime.