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Lam Akol
Chairman of the SPLM-DC
Assumed office
June 2009
Minister of Cabinet Affairs of Sudan
In office
17 October, 2007 – Unknown
President Omar al-Bashir
Preceded by Deng Alor
Succeeded by Dr. Luka Biong
Foreign Minister of Sudan
In office
20 January, 2005 – 17 October, 2007
President Omar al-Bashir
Preceded by Mustafa Osman Ismail
Succeeded by Deng Alor
Transport Minister of Sudan
In office
March 1998 – 2002
President Omar al-Bashir
Personal details
Born July 15, 1950 (1950-07-15) (age 71)
Athidhwoi, Upper Nile
Political party SPLM-DC (since 2009)
Other political
National Congress (until 2002)
Justice party (2002-2003)
SPLM (2003-2009)
Alma mater Imperial College London
Military service
Nickname(s) ALPHA BETA
Allegiance Flag of the SPLA (until 2011).svg SPLA (1983-1991)
Flag of the SPLA-Nasir.svg SPLA-Nasir (1991-2002)
Battles/wars Second Sudanese Civil War

Lam Akol, or Lam Akol Ajawin, is a South Sudanese politician of Shilluk descent. He is as of 21 June  2020 (2020 -06-21) the current leader of Democratic Change (DC) party, which he founded on 6 June 2009 as "Sudan People's Liberation Movement - Democratic Change". He is a former high-ranking official in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), and subsequently became the Foreign Minister of Sudan from September 2005 to October 2007, when the Khartoum government offered the SPLA several other key ministries as part of a peace agreement.

Early life

Akol was born on 15 July 1950 in Athidhwoi, Upper Nile. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Imperial College London and 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. On 5 April 1993, after they were joined by William Nyuon Bany and they joined forces with another faction under Kerubino Kwanyin Bol, the name of their faction was changed to SPLA-United.

Akol was dismissed by Machar in February 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 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 Akol wrote a piece detailing his role as a negotiator on behalf of Garang in the initiation of Operation Lifeline Sudan.

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. The Chairman of SPLM nominated him as Minister of Cabinet Affairs which was confirmed on 17 October by President Omar al-Bashir, and appointed Deng Alor, a leading SPLM member (member of the SPLM political bureau) who had previously been the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, to replace Akol as Foreign Minister.

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