Barack Obama, the US president, said that if the government of Sudan acted to improve the situation on the ground, there would be "incentives".
But if Sudan did not act, "then there will be increased pressure imposed by the US and the international community".
The UN estimates that as many as 300,000 people have died and more than two million have been driven from their homes in Darfur since 2003, when mostly non-Arab fighters took up arms against the Khartoum government.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said genocide was taking place in the region and that Washington's focus would be on protecting civilians, helping displaced persons and ensuring that fighters were disarmed.
In his statement on Monday, Obama said: "Sudan is now poised to fall further into chaos if swift action is not taken.
"First, we must seek a definitive end to conflict, gross human-rights abuses and genocide in Darfur.
"Second, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South in Sudan must be implemented to create the possibility of long-term peace."
Clinton said the new Obama policy toward Sudan would include "a menu of incentives and disincentives" but refused to specify what they might be.
Source: Al Jazeera (English)