Leaders of South Sudan’s warring parties have reached a peace agreement that will see rebel leader Riek Machar reinstated to the vice presidency and a possible end to the 5-year-old civil war.
“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,” South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed announced at the end of talks, which were held in Uganda and mediated by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.
The agreement is aimed at bringing an end to the civil war that erupted in 2013 after a falling out between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Machar.
A similar power-sharing deal that returned Machar to the vice presidency was signed in 2015. But it collapsed a year later.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people and forced 4 million people to flee their homes. About 2 million South Sudanese have sought refuge in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It has also created Africa’s largest refugee crisis since 1994, when the genocide in Rwanda left millions of people near famine.