The Foreign Ministry in Sudan has disclosed that the country recalled its ambassador in Ethiopia as tension begins to mount between the two countries over a border region and Addis Ababa’s controversial Blue Nile dam.
The foreign ministry spokesman, Mansour Boulad, disclosed that, “Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Addis Ababa for consultations over Sudanese-Ethiopian relations.”
Although he didn’t give deep details for the decision, he noted that the envoy would return to his duty after the country has completed consultations.
Khartoum’s move comes amid rising tensions with Addis Ababa over the Al-Fashaqa border region, where Ethiopian farmers cultivate fertile land claimed by Sudan.
The two neighbouring countries have both accused each other of initiating violence in the area. Sudan’s foreign ministry had said on Sunday that Ethiopian forces crossed into Sudanese territory in an act of “aggression”, but the spokesman did not specify if consultations would be about that particular incident.
Last month, Ethiopia alleged that Sudanese forces were pushing further into the border region.
Khartoum has since last month banned aircraft from flying over the Al-Fashaqa area after alleging that an Ethiopian military aircraft entered its airspace, a claim denied by Addis Ababa.
Over the years, there has been deadly clashes between the Ethiopia’s federal and Tigray’s regional forces. After the November clash, some 60,000 Ethiopian refugees fled into Sudan.
The tensions come at a delicate time between the two countries, which along with Egypt have been locked in inconclusive talks over the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River.
This month, Sudan warned Ethiopia against going ahead with the second phase of filling the mega-dam, saying it would pose a “direct threat to Sudanese national security.”
Ethiopia, which says it has already reached its first-year target for filling the dam’s reservoir, has recently signaled it would proceed with the filling regardless of whether or not a deal was struck.
Khartoum hopes the dam will regulate annual flooding but fears its own dams, including the Roseires and Merowe, will be harmed if no agreement is reached.