(Bloomberg) -- South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed to form a transitional government by mid-November as part of a peace deal aimed at ending a five-year crisis in the oil-rich nation.

“Rest assured that things are going on well,” Kiir told reporters in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday after meeting Machar. “We are coming to a solution very soon.”

Machar is expected to return to the country as Kiir’s deputy, a position he held before the nation plunged into civil war in 2013. He left the country in 2016, abandoning a similar power-sharing arrangement.

Talks between the two leaders will continue in the interim, Machar said. Sticky issues include security arrangements such as integrating rebel troops with government forces. Over the next two months, the nation will combine troops to create a force of 83,000 soldiers, Machar’s deputy, Henry Odwar, said on Monday.

(Updates with comments from the president in second paragraph)

--With assistance from Paul Richardson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Okech Francis in Juba at fokech@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, Paul Richardson

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.