The South Sudan rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar has once again been offered the position of vice presidency in a new government structure meant to accommodate the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and other rebel groups.
The development follows talks held a State House – Entebbe on Saturday involving South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Sudanese President, General Omar Al Bashir of Sudan.
The leaders spent over 8 hours discussing the agreement that will bring peace in the war torn South Sudan. The two rivals were expected to sign the deal last night but they walked out of the meeting with their delegations at 9:00PM for photos and departed to their respective destinations.
The Sudan foreign Affairs Minister, Al-Dierdiry al-Dhikheri told journalists that four key issues were discussed. In the new government structure proposed by Museveni and Bashir, South Sudan will have four vice presidents.
Machar was offered the position of first vice president and the opposition will be offered a second vice presidency that will be taken up by a lady. Currently, the country has two vice presidents.
The cabinet will be increased from 30 to 45 members. The 15 new cabinet members will be opposition members, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – in Opposition taking 10 positions and other opposition groups sharing five positions.
The 400 member South Sudan legislature will be bloated to accommodate 150 new opposition legislators. The People’s Liberation Movement – in Opposition will pocket 100 positions and other opposition groups will take up the remaining 50 positions.
Machar and other opposition delegations accepted the proposals in principal but refused to append signatures on the deal, saying they will come up with a final position in Khartoum today.
The flurry of negotiations will continue up to Tuesday to fine tune the peace agreement that will be signed when another conference is convened in Nairobi, Kenya, possibly next week.
The wife of Machar, Angelina Teny said they listened carefully as the structure of the new government was proposed and the opposition also gave their side. She said, they decided to go and consult further before giving their final position.
Angelina said the opposition is hopeful that a final agreement will be reached and signed in the coming days.