Ambassador from South Sudan: Who Is Akec Khoc Aciew Khoc?
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.
As Darfur Winds Down, What's Next for Sudan? (by Larry Luxner, Washington Diplomat)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Former Employees Say Bank of America Regularly Lied to Homeowners Seeking Loan Modifications
- 2 Fatal Chemical Plant Explosions in 2 Days in Louisiana
- Growth of Factory Farming Leading to Uncontrolled Problems of Animal Waste
- Federal Government Accused of Adding an Average of One New Crime a Week
- Christian Pastor Given Go-Ahead to Sue Oklahoma over Native American License Plate Design