Ambassador from South Sudan: Who Is Akec Khoc Aciew Khoc?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The world’s newest nation—South Sudan—has sent its first ambassador to the U.S., ironically the same man who recently served as the chief envoy to Washington from Sudan, the country from which South Sudan seceded last year after decades of civil war. Akec Khoc Aciew Khoc, who was Khartoum’s man in Washington from 2006 to 2011, is now Juba’s man in D.C. 


Born January 1, 1956—the same day Sudan won independence from Anglo-Egyptian rule—Khoc hails from the town of Bor, which is the capital of the state of Jonglei. A member of the Dinka people, Khoc trained to be a physician, earning a medical degree (MBBS) at the University of Khartoum Medical School, and a Master’s degree in Blood Transfusion Medicine and Hematology from Pierre and Marie Curie Faculty of Medicine in Paris. 


In 1983, Khoc became active in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the leading opposition group to the Sudanese government and the political arm of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which waged a violent campaign in southern Sudan against the central government in the north to “bring equilibrium in development and provision of services for the whole country,” Khoc said. “The south was marginally represented in the past, and the SPLM wanted a change.”


Khoc fled Sudan to Ethiopia at the outset of the second civil war in 1983, and then to France in 1991 after the political situation in Ethiopia deteriorated for the South Sudanese. While in Paris, he became a member of the Sudan Human Rights Organization, and served as the SPLM’s representative in Paris from 1991 to 2003. He left Paris and settled for a time in Minnesota, working as a mental health counselor. In April 2006, as part of the national reconciliation process, he was appointed chargé d’affaires at the Sudanese embassy in the U.S.  


The 22-year civil war killed an estimated 1.9 million people, ending in 2005 with a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The SPLM’s envoys were soon integrated into Sudan’s Foreign Service, and Khoc joined Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2006. Dispatched to New York to serve as Sudan’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Khoc was transferred to Washington later in 2006, serving as Sudan’s envoy until South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

-Matt Bewig


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Emilia 11 years ago
I too congratulate our galalnt forces for having fought till we reach CPA, however, it is wrong to take 16 may 1983 as the day the first bullet was fired in Jongolei yet there was Torit Mutunied of 1955 that lasted for 17 years. followed by anya-anya ii which fought on the principle of self determination meaning the establishment of an independent State.Akobo mutiny in 1975 spearheaded by Vicent Kuang that led to Bor and Ayod mutinies carried in the name of SSLA/M. so all these were consecutives resistance aganist the enemies at the North. which of the event can southerners take it as the most prudent one?

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