South Sudan’s former vice president Riek Machar will be reinstated in his position as part of a peace deal to end a near five-year-old war that has killed tens of thousands and devastated Africa’s youngest nation.
The agreement was reached in talks held in Entebbe in Uganda mediated by President Yoweri Miseveni and attended by South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and Machar, the country’s presidency said in a statement.
“After a 10-hour-long meeting, the parties agreed … there will be four vice presidents and Dr Riek Machar will be reinstated as first vice president,” the statement said.
It added that although the government and the opposition had agreed to the proposal, “there will be more consultation to come up with the final decision”.
South Sudan has been gripped by civil war since 2013, when a political disagreement between Kiir and Machar exploded into a military confrontation.
A similar deal in 2015 failed the following year after Machar returned to the capital and disagreements quickly developed, reigniting fighting.
On Friday the government and opposition signed an agreement on security arrangements which follow on from a ceasefire deal last month, both crucial steps toward a final peace pact.