Dr. Riek Gai Kok was born in 1954 in Akobo Town of former Upper Nile Region of the Sudan, the former Jonglei State of the Republic of South Sudan which is currently the Akobo State in the new political dispensation that created more States of the Republic of South Sudan. He attended Alexandria University, Cairo – Egypt in 1977 to study his Bachelors of Medicine in Pharmacology after scoring the highest marks in his Secondary School Examinations and became the second best student in the Southern Region at that time; he later went to Strathclyde University, Glasgow – Scotland, (UK) to study Masters of Science in Pharmacology, and was awarded his MSc in Pharmacology. He registered for his PhD Programme in the same University, a scholarly programme disrupted by the 1983 war as he physically joined the SPLA in 1987; however, he was a member of the internal cell in the formation of the SPLA/SPLM in Khartoum. He served at different levels in the SPLA/SPLM after the military training and was commissioned by the Late Leader of the SPLA/M to work in the Military Health Corps Department. In 1994 after the infamous Nasir Declaration of 1991, he joined the Splinter Group led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny that later in 1997 signed the Khartoum Agreement. Before the Khartoum Agreement, he worked as the Coordinator of the Relief Association of Southern Sudan (Relief Wing of the Splinter SPLA Group). In Khartoum, he was elected the Governor of Jonglei State and he was later appointed the Minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries and finally became the President of the Coordination Council for the Southern States after the re-defection of Dr. Riek Machar to the SPLA/M in 2002. He played much higher role in the NCP Party as he became the Deputy Chairperson in the ruling Party. In 2011, he left Khartoum to join his Southern Sudanese to celebrate the independence, a decision he politically coached the Southern leaders to achieve non-violently. In 2013 Cabinet Reshuffle, he was appointed the Minister for Health, the docket he occupies to date.
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