Mangok Mayen serves as the president of the SPLM (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement) in America. He also works as a “Cultural Specialist” for Catholic Charities in downtown Jackson. Certainly the tallest and most imposing of the Sudanese in Jackson, he has a unique perspective on Sudan and its politics. The SPLM is the political party in power in Southern Sudan, while the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) is the military wing of the government of the South.
In discussing the referendum and the powering-sharing agreement in the CPA concerning the oil in Abyei, Mangok was pessimistic at best. He sternly asserts “there will be no power sharing.” He polemically questions the CPA by stating that “it is supposed to be 50/50 . . . but that is under question. Why isn’t there yet better schools and education in Southern Sudan with all of that money? The oil will be a problem, there will be war. Does America power share with Mexico? With Canada? No.”
Mangok explained the meaning behind the name of Khartoum. Originally derived from two Dinka words “Khar” (branches of river) and “tum” (meet), it means the place where two rivers meet. “In the 15th century, Muslims came in, and the Dinka surrendered Khartoum to them. It rightfully belongs to us, but for the sake of bloodshed, we will let them have it, we will just leave."