The media spot-light was on Juba, the soon-to-be capital of a new state if the banners announcing secession are to be believed. And with it came former presidents, high-profile, media-savvy campaigners and a film-star (who ended up with malaria).

A few journalist friends were embroiled with PR representatives, finding out if, and when, Jimmy Carter was visiting the polling stations as part of his role as electoral observer. If, and when, Mr. Clooney would be holding a press conference (NGO workers hanging around his hotel, hoping to get a tipsy snap with him).