PROFILE — The ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party on Wednesday selected Peter Lam Both, the group’s current spokesman and former governor of defunct Latjor state, as its next acting party Secretary General.
Lam has been in the forefront of the SPLM politics and many have hailed him for his unwavering support to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
So, who is Peter Lam Both?
According to Wikipedia, Peter Lam Both is a South Sudanese politician who was born in 1972 in the country’s Upper Nile state and became the first governor of the defunct Latjor state when President Kiir partitioned South Sudan into ethnic 28 states in 2015.
He was a high-ranking South Sudanese diplomat of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who was appointed as Commissioner for National Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in the National Government of South Sudan on 7 June 2012 by President Salva Kiir. He served in this position until 27 November 2013.
Peter Lam served as State Minister of Information and Communications in Upper Nile State from June 2010-May 2012.
He was also appointed as SPLM Deputy Secretary for External Relations on August 28, 2009.
He was previously posted to Canada from May 2006- November 2008 as the first official Representative of the SPLM to Canada.
He was charged by the SPLM leadership to organize SPLM Chapters in various cities of Canada and to rally the support of the Government of Canada for SPLM and Government of Southern Sudan.
Under extremely difficult conditions, he helped form 14 SPLM Chapters across the country with membership of over 4000.
He managed to diplomatically seduce Canada to accept SPLM and work with the Government of Southern Sudan, which finally culminated in the establishment of the Liaison Office for the Government of Southern Sudan in Ottawa in 2008 in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) and the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan.
Peter was a lecturer of Social Work at the University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge and Mount Royal College in Canada, joined SPLM in 1986 after he fled from Sudan at the age of 14 due to civil war. He lived in various refugee camps in Ethiopia, but managed to continue his education with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR).
He graduated with B.A. in Political Science and International Relations (1996) in Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia (the oldest university in the continent).
He also graduated with Bachelor of Social Work (2002) and Masters of International Social Work (2004) from the University of Calgary.
He is also a Ph.D. holder (dissertation in the Faculty of Social Work) University of Calgary.
In addition to his diplomatic work as SPLM/GOSS Representative to Canada, Peter has extensive diplomatic experience in his work with United Nations in Ethiopia (1996), India (2003) and Jordan in 2005.
He has worked with various organizations in Canada including Calgary Catholic Immigration Society as Settlement Officer (1998–2000) and with the City of Calgary as Community Development Officer (2002–2005) and as a Social Planner with the City of Calgary (2005).
He led the first ever SPLM delegation from Canada in May 2008 to participate in the Second SPLM National Convention in Juba where he played a key role in mobilizing the delegates to maintain the unity of SPLM by proposing to keep the current leadership as it is. The SPLM unity was at stake in the Convention, but the party rose to the challenge and opted to keep the status quo.
He submitted his resignation to the chairman of the SPLM on November 15, 2008 stating that he was time pressed with his studies.
His publications include: South Sudan: forgotten tragedy (2003), International Relations of Ethiopia (2004) and upcoming memoires entitled ” Difficult Journey “. He has also published peer-reviewed articles with Journal of Social Work and Journal of Educational Action Research in 2008.