US Pres. Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday that authorizes future sanctions against individuals involved in Sudan's current conflict, saying that the fighting that started last month between the country's military and a powerful paramilitary force "must end."
Biden said that his admin. seeks to hold those responsible for threatening Sudan’s peace, security, and stability accountable, adding that anyone who undermines Sudan’s democratic transition and commits violence against civilians or other human rights abuses could also be sanctioned.
Biden's sanctions authorization for Sudan is a good step in ensuring the end of the fighting between the RSF and the Sudanese military and assisting the country's transition to democracy, though it may take some time before the fighting comes to an end. The most substantial threat to a permanent ceasefire is foreign intervention, for which the Biden admin. will have to be vigilant. Russia's Wagner PMC could intervene on either side, which would be a serious risk for US interests in the region.
The Biden admin. was too naïve regarding Sudan's warring military leaders after the 2019 overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, indirectly leading to the current fighting. Though one of the admin.'s foreign policy goals was to support democracy globally, it has failed in this initiative by not putting enough pressure on Dagalo and Burhan from the beginning. Sanctions might make the generals more likely to come to the negotiating table, but ultimately it's too little too late.