The Southern Sudan Referendum gave the people of Southern Sudan the opportunity to vote for either:
- Confirmation of the unity of Sudan, or
- Secession of Southern Sudan
The body in charge of organizing this Referendum was the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC), along with its operational arm, the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau (SSRB). Both are independent from the governments of both Sudan and Southern Sudan.
Out-of-Country registration and voting (OCV) centres were established in the eight countries with the largest numbers of Southern Sudanese living outside Sudan. These were: Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted the SSRC at its request in organizing the OCV.
TCA PR principal Ivy K Pendleton served as the Media Spokeswoman and Public Information Officer for the United States. She regularly interfaced with the United States Department of State, observers from the United Nations, policymakers in the United States Congress and high ranking members of the Southern Sudanese Diaspora. As a longtime communications expert, she utilized a combination of strategic partnerships in the international community and global media contacts to garner local, regional, national and international media coverage. As a result, the United States boasted near 100% voter turnout. Her semi-fluency in French and working knowledge of Swahili also proved useful.
Results and Commendations
Ivy developed a dynamic synergy with the US SSRC Representative Benaiah Duku. Together, they were able to directly liaise with the US Southern Sudanese Diaspora community leaders simultaneously in 4 time zones. They worked tirelessly and the US OCV campaign successfully garnered more than one million impressions. She received letters of commendation from The SSRC, IOM and Government of Southern Sudan