Ethiopia has recalled eight ambassadors back to Addis Ababa, including the ambassadors to Cairo and Khartoum, Ethiopian newspaper Addis Standard reported on Thursday.
The newspaper did not state a reason for the recall, only saying that Ethiopian ambassador to Cairo Dina Mufti and ambassador to Khartoum Shiferaw Jarso were recalled along with the ambassadors in Brussels, London, Rabat, Algiers, Canberra and Havana.
Addis Standard quoted a source at Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs as saying that "the timing of the recall of the Ethiopian envoys in Cairo and Khartoum… cannot be overlooked,” as both posts are considered “extremely crucial” given the latest developments with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The report speculated that there could be a possible reshuffle, and that "all eyes are on who will assume the positions in Brussels, Cairo and Khartoum."
Over the past week, tensions escalated between Egypt and Ethiopia after Addis Ababa withdrew from the latest round of US-sponsored discussions aimed to resolve the dispute, and pledged to start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) before reaching a final deal with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.
Ethiopia hopes the $4.8 mega project will make it Africa's biggest power exporter. Cairo, however, fears the dam, which is under construction near Ethiopia's border with Sudan, would significantly diminish its water supply from the Nile, its major source of freshwater.