President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday paving the way for imposing sanctions on individuals involved in the recent violence in Sudan.
Biden stated in a statement that the order “will hold individuals accountable for threatening the peace, security and stability of Sudan; undermine Sudan's democratic transition; use violence against civilians; or commit serious human rights violations.”
The violence that is shaking Sudan, it adds, is "a tragedy and a betrayal of the clear demand of the Sudanese people for civilian rule and a transition to democracy."
“I join the peace-loving Sudanese people and leaders from around the world in calling for a lasting truce between the warring parties,” the statement said.
Violence in Sudan erupted on April 15 with fighting between two military commanders who just 18 months earlier had cooperated in a coup that upended the country's democratic transition.
The power struggle is between the head of the armed forces, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the head of a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. Millions of inhabitants have been forced to take refuge in their homes and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Several countries are hastily evacuating their citizens from the troubled African nation.
The United Nations warned Wednesday that the Sudanese people "are facing a humanitarian catastrophe."
At least 550 people, including civilians, have been killed in the conflict and more than 4,900 have been injured. At least 334,000 people have been displaced within Sudan and tens of thousands more have fled to Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia, according to the UN.
Thousands of UN workers were evacuated and some agencies of the world body have suspended their work in the country. The World Food Program suspended its operations after three of its employees were killed in fighting in southern Sudan, but the agency has announced that it will resume services soon.
The fighting has included an unprecedented urban brawl in the capital, Khartoum.