Former South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar agreed to form a unity government with President Salva Kiir by Saturday’s deadline, following talks at state house.
Before the announcement, it was unclear if the February 22 deadline would be met as key benchmarks of the 2018 peace agreement were not met. The deadline elapsed several times without agreement between the sides.
“We had a meeting with the president on outstanding issues. We agreed to form the government on 22 February,” Machar said.
Kiir confirmed the agreement.
“We have agreed to form the government,” he said, adding Machar will be first vice president.
“We are going to discuss security arrangements for protection of all opposition forces and members,” Kiir added.
All members of the opposition will be given protection. “If there are things we have not agreed on, we agreed to resolve them. We shall finalise them in coming days,” Kiir said.