South Sudan war rivals strike power-sharing deal

South Sudan war rivals strike power-sharing deal
Rebel leader Riek Machar on Saturday agreed to rejoin the government of President Salva Kiir as first vice president.
2 min read
08 July, 2018
The new deal will see rebel leader Riek Machar (L) return to his post [Getty]
South Sudan rivals Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir agreed on Saturday to a power-sharing deal that will see rebel leader Machar return to his post as vice president.

"It has been agreed that there will be four vice presidents: the current two vice presidents, plus Riek Machar (who) will assume the position of first vice president, and then the fourth position will be allocated to a woman from the opposition," said Al-Dierdiry Ahmed, South Sudan's foreign minister.

The deal was struck in Kampala, Uganda and aimed to end more than four years of civil war in the world's newest country.  

Ahmed said the two had agreed to the proposal, but further details still needed to be ironed out in talks in Khartoum and Kenya in the coming days. 

The latest agreement is part of renewed regional diplomatic efforts to end the deadly conflict, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions from their homes since 2013. 

In May, the UN Security Council gave the two warring sides a month to reach a peace deal or face sanctions.

The war began when Kiir accused Machar, his former deputy, of planning a coup.

A similar power-sharing deal, that returned Machar to the vice presidency, was signed in 2015 but fell apart a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile.

Last month, Kiir and Machar signed a ceasefire agreement and on Friday struck a deal to withdraw troops from urban areas. 

Saturday's day-long meeting was hosted by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and was attended by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir as well as representatives of the opposition.

Kiir belongs to South Sudan's Dinka peoples, the country's second-largest ethnic group, and Machar to the Nuer people, the largest group in the fledgling African state. 

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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