ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Angolan rebels won agreement from government negotiators Friday to have substantial power in a proposed alliance with their longtime foes.
The rebels appear to be taking advantage of their battlefield successes in the civil war to win political concessions at peace talks.
The agreement came while the two sides continued the 18-year-old civil war that has taken an estimated 400,000 lives.
The statement did not mention a cease-fire the United Nations is urgently seeking so food can be delivered to 3 million people believed to be in danger of starvation.
Negotiators failed to agree on a cease-fire earlier this week and have moved on to other issues--future elections, a restructured military, a national unity government and the release of prisoners of war.
A joint statement said that "the principle of large participation of UNITA in the government executive at the national, provincial and local levels is accepted."
Government negotiators have refused to comment to reporters since Thursday. But UNITA negotiator Isaias Samakuva said the rebels expect some key Cabinet portfolios, such as the ministry of defense, interior or foreign affairs.