Smoke rises over Khartoum, Sudan, earlier this month during ongoing fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces. Photo by Mohnd Awad/EPA-EFE
May 4 (UPI) — President Joe Biden issued an executive order Thursday, laying the groundwork for potential Sudan-related sanctions amid the country’s power struggle.
The White House said in a statement that any sanctions would target those “responsible for threatening the peace, security, and stability of Sudan.”
“The Sudanese people suffered 30 years under an authoritarian regime — but they never gave up on their commitment to democracy or their hope for a better future,” Biden said. “Their dedication brought down a dictator, only to endure a military takeover in October 2021, and now more violence among factions fighting for control.”
Fighting broke out April 15 as a power struggle erupted between the former comrades who have ruled over Sudan since a 2021 coup but now bitterly disagree over the country’s future.
Previously, the duo worked together to overthrow former President Omar al-Bashir, who was sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges in 2019.
At least 450 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict, and multiple nations have rushed to evacuate diplomats and citizens while humanitarian organizations have struggled to deliver aid.
As part of the latest deal, Sudan Armed Forces chief Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, and paramilitary leader Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, have “agreed in principle” to peace talks that would be held soon at a neutral site, according to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who helped mediate the call.
On Wednesday, Sudan’s first professional stage actress, Asia Abdel-Majid was killed in crossfire during fighting in Khartoum. The 80-year-old was killed after shells hit her home in Bahri, her nephew told CNN.