The following is from a variety of sources, which have to remain confidential.
This map is from the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia border war, and is used only for convenience. The flight of civilians is from that period and does not refer to the current situation.
Apart from a brief clash when the Northern Command barracks in Mekele was taken over by Tigrayan forces, the capital of Tigray is reported to be quiet.
The main fighting is said to be taking place in the Western Zone, on the border with the Amhara region.
This was reported by the Reuters newsagency.
A humanitarian source said shelling and shooting had been heard in the region since the early hours of Thursday, and nearly two dozen soldiers had been treated at a clinic near the border with the Amhara region. The source did not say which side of the conflict the injured troops were drawn from.
“At 5:20 a.m. we started to hear heavy shelling. Since then it has only stopped for an hour, but as of 2:00 p.m. you could still hear shooting, bombing and shelling,” the source said.
“So far nearly two dozens injured – all military, no civilians – were treated in the health center of Abdurafi, located near the Tigray-Amhara border.”
It is reported that there have been serious casualties. The blood bank in Addis Ababa has rushed supplies up to the front. The wounded are being treated in a hospital in the Amhara region.
Meanwhile, all regions have been asked to contribute troops to the Federal army. Oromia (which has its own troubles) is said to have been excused from this obligation. The Somali region is said to be unhappy with the requirement.
There are unconfirmed reports of Eritrean troop movements close to Tigray, but there is currently no indication of fighting between Eritrean and Tigrayan forces.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is said to believe that there is no reason to open a dialogue with the Tigray regional government.
This was confirmed by the Reuters report.
Sources said efforts were under way behind the scenes to encourage talks, pushed by the African Union. But the initiative was being resisted by authorities in Addis Ababa who insist they have to eliminate a threat posed by the TPLF.
“The Ethiopians are saying it is an internal matter and they will handle it. They are saying it (TPLF) is a rogue element within their border and this is about the rule of law,” said a diplomatic source who did not wish to be named.
Redwan Hussein, spokesman for a newly-established State of Emergency Task Force, told Reuters on Wednesday that the option for talks was “not yet” on the table.
Rather, he is looking for a “surgical strike” to remove the leadership.
Abiy is said to believe that by getting rid of the most senior 10 – 12 members of the authority he can replace them with a new government, which would be more to his liking.
Commentators suggest that this is unlikely. The Tigray government has just won an election in which they received an overwhelming endorsement.