Machar’s opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM- IO), on Monday expressed its opposition to a unity government on 12 November.

Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, deputy spokesman of Machar’s group, told Radio Tamazuj that they reject a push for a new coalition government without addressing challenges facing the 2018 peace deal.

The statement comes as a November 12 deadline looms to form a power-sharing government, a key part of the deal that has been delayed by disputes and lack of funds.

This comes a few days after the United Nations Mission in South Sudan called on the parties to the peace deal to form a new government by 12 November as originally planned.

However, Manawa insisted that they will not be part of a unity government without proper security arrangements and agreement on the internal boundaries of states. “We want to see unified forces and reforms in the country,” he said.

The country’s largest opposition group accused the government of failing to make funds available for the implementation of the peace accord. “There has never been political will on the government side. The remaining time is not enough for us to create one army,” Manawa said.

The opposition official pointed out that the situation has not changed much because of lack of political will and that there are difficulties in agreeing on the number of states and their boundaries.

President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and several opposition groups signed the revitalised agreement in September 2018 in an attempt to resolve the conflict.

Under the terms of the peace deal, the rival parties are to create a unified army, settle disputes over the number of states and form a transitional government that will run the country for three years until elections.