In the year 66 AD the Jews of Judea rebelled against their Roman masters. In response, the Emperor Nero dispatched an army under the generalship of Vespasian to restore order. By the year 68, resistance in the northern part of the province had been eradicated and the Romans turned their full attention to the subjugation of Jerusalem. That same year, the Emperor Nero died by his own hand, creating a power vacuum in Rome. In the resultant chaos, Vespasian was declared Emperor and returned to the Imperial City. It fell to his son, Titus, to lead the remaining army in the assault on Jerusalem.
The Roman legions surrounded the city and began to slowly squeeze the life out of the Jewish stronghold. By the year 70, the attackers had breached Jerusalem’s outer walls and began a systematic ransacking of the city. The assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism.
In victory, the Romans slaughtered thousands. Of those sparred from death: thousands more were enslaved and sent to toil in the mines of Egypt, others were dispersed to arenas throughout the Empire to be butchered for the amusement of the public. The Temple’s sacred relics were taken to Rome where they were displayed in celebration of the victory.
The rebellion sputtered on for another three years and was finally extinguished in 73 AD with the fall of the various pockets of resistance including the stronghold at Masada.
“…the Jews let out a shout of dismay that matched the tragedy.”
Our only first-hand account of the Roman assault on the Temple comes from the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. Josephus was a former leader of the Jewish Revolt who had surrendered to the Romans and had won favor from Vespasian. In gratitude, Josephus took on Vespasian’s family name – Flavius – as his own. We join his account as the Romans fight their way into the inner sanctum of the Temple:
“…the rebels shortly after attacked the Romans again, and a clash followed between the guards of the sanctuary and the troops who were putting out the fire inside the inner court; the latter routed the Jews and followed in hot pursuit right up to the Temple itself. Then one of the soldiers, without awaiting any orders and with no dread of so momentous a deed, but urged on by some supernatural force, snatched a blazing piece of wood and, climbing on another soldier’s back, hurled the flaming brand through a low golden window that gave access, on the north side, to the rooms that surrounded the sanctuary. As the flames shot up, the Jews let out a shout of dismay that matched the tragedy; they flocked to the rescue, with no thought of sparing their lives or husbanding their strength; for the sacred structure that they had constantly guarded with such devotion was vanishing before their very eyes.
…No exhortation or threat could now restrain the impetuosity of the legions; for passion was in supreme command. Crowded together around the entrances, many were trampled down by their companions; others, stumbling on the smoldering and smoked-filled ruins of the porticoes, died as miserably as the defeated. As they drew closer to the Temple, they pretended not even to hear Caesar’s orders, but urged the men in front to throw in more firebrands. The rebels were powerless to help; carnage and flight spread throughout.
Most of the slain were peaceful citizens, weak and unarmed, and they were butchered where they were caught. The heap of corpses mounted higher and higher about the altar; a stream of blood flowed down the Temple’s steps, and the bodies of those slain at the top slipped to the bottom.
When Caesar failed to restrain the fury of his frenzied soldiers, and the fire could not be checked, he entered the building with his generals and looked at the holy place of the sanctuary and all its furnishings, which exceeded by far the accounts current in foreign lands and fully justified their splendid repute in our own.
As the flames had not yet penetrated to the inner sanctum, but were consuming the chambers that surrounded the sanctuary, Titus assumed correctly that there was still time to save the structure; he ran out and by personal appeals he endeavored to persuade his men to put out the fire, instructing Liberalius, a centurion of his bodyguard of lancers, to club any of the men who disobeyed his orders. But their respect for Caesar and their fear of the centurion’s staff who was trying to check them were overpowered by their rage, their detestation of the Jews, and an utterly uncontrolled lust for battle.
Most of them were spurred on, moreover, by the expectation of loot, convinced that the interior was full of money and dazzled by observing that everything around them was made of gold. But they were forestalled by one of those who had entered into the building, and who, when Caesar dashed out to restrain the troops, pushed a firebrand, in the darkness, into the hinges of the gate Then, when the flames suddenly shot up from the interior, Caesar and his generals withdrew, and no one was left to prevent those outside from kindling the blaze. Thus, in defiance of Caesar’s wishes, the Temple was set on fire.
While the Temple was ablaze, the attackers plundered it, and countless people who were caught by them were slaughtered. There was no pity for age and no regard was accorded rank; children and old men, laymen and priests, alike were butchered; every class was pursued and crushed in the grip of war, whether they cried out for mercy or offered resistance.
Through the roar of the flames streaming far and wide, the groans of the falling victims were heard; such was the height of the hill and the magnitude of the blazing pile that the entire city seemed to be ablaze; and the noise – nothing more deafening and frightening could be imagined.
There were the war cries of the Roman legions as they swept onwards en masse, the yells of the rebels encircled by fire and sword, the panic of the people who, cut off above, fled into the arms of the enemy, and their shrieks as they met their fate. The cries on the hill blended with those of the multitudes in the city below; and now many people who were exhausted and tongue-tied as a result of hunger, when they beheld the Temple on fire, found strength once more to lament and wail. Peraea and the surrounding hills, added their echoes to the deafening din. But more horrifying than the din were the sufferings.
The Temple Mount, everywhere enveloped in flames, seemed to be boiling over from its base; yet the blood seemed more abundant than the flames and the numbers of the slain greater than those of the slayers. The soldiers climbed over heaps of bodies as they chased the fugitives.”
Josephus’ account appears in: Cornfield, Gaalya ed., Josephus, The Jewish War (1982); Duruy, Victor, History of Rome vol. V (1883).
How To Cite This Article:
“The Romans Destroy the Temple at Jerusalem, 70 AD,” EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005).
Hebron Terror Attack, IDF Demolish 17 Palestinian Homes
Yesterday, a terror attack took place in Hebron in which an Israeli civilian was murdered and multiple people were injured. Following the attack, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers and security forces conducted a survey of the terrorist’s residence to examine the potential demolition of the house.
This morning, dozens of Israeli soldiers and 40 bulldozers arrived in the Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan to begin demolishing 17 homes. The move came after the passing of the deadline for self-demolition, which was imposed by the Israeli authorities.
The practice of demolishing the homes of suspected terrorists has been controversial and has been criticized by human rights groups for punishing the families of the suspected terrorists, including women and children, and not being an effective deterrent to terrorism. However, the Israeli authorities argue that the demolition of homes serves as a deterrent and also punishes those who aid and support terrorism.
Dozens of Israeli soldiers and 40 bulldozers arrived in the Bustan neighbourhood in Silwan this morning to begin demolishing 17 homes following the passing of the deadline for self-demolition. pic.twitter.com/LYcz2uvchX
— Barbara (@BGarattini) June 29, 2021
The demolition of homes in Silwan has sparked international reactions, with many human rights organizations condemning the practice. They argue that the demolition of homes constitutes a form of collective punishment and violates international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
On the other hand, some countries and organizations support the actions of the Israeli authorities. They argue that Israel has the right to defend its citizens against terrorism and that the demolition of homes is a legitimate measure to combat terrorism.
The situation in Hebron and Silwan remains tense, as the demolition of homes continues. The impact of this action on the local population and the potential for further conflict is yet to be seen. The international community remains divided on the issue, with some supporting the actions of the Israeli authorities and others condemning the demolition of homes as a violation of international law. Regardless of one’s position, it is clear that the situation in the region requires a peaceful and negotiated solution to end the cycle of violence.
President Guelleh, Etal hail Somalia’s Anti-Terrorism Efforts
The President of Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, traveled to Mogadishu this week to participate in a summit with his counterparts from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The summit focused on ratifying measures aimed at eradicating terrorism in Somalia and bringing peace to the country.
Welcomed by Somali Diplomacy Head
Upon arrival at Aden Abdille airport in Mogadishu, President Guelleh was greeted by the head of Somali diplomacy, Mr. Abshir Omar Djama. The summit brought together the leaders of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, who are at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in Somalia.
Regional Leaders Unite to Combat Al-Shabab
During the summit, President Guelleh and the leaders of Ethiopia and Kenya discussed the continuation of efforts to eradicate terrorism in Somalia. They also hailed the tireless efforts of the Somali authorities to overcome the terrorist movement Al-Shabab and bring peace to the country.
Minister of Defense Precedes Presidential Visit
The visit of President Guelleh was preceded by that of the Minister of Defense, Mr. Hassan Omar Mohamed, who was leading a large delegation including the Chief of General Staff of the Djiboutian armed forces, General Zakaria Cheick Ibrahim.
High Stakes for Stabilizing Somalia
This summit meeting was an opportunity for regional leaders to come together to address the critical issue of terrorism in Somalia and work towards stabilizing the country. The international community will be closely watching the outcome of the summit and the progress made in the fight against terrorism.
Wagner Group linked to African prisoner recruitment
The US has warned African countries against working with the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary outfit, due to its role in recruiting prisoners, including Africans, to fight in Ukraine. Last week, the US sanctioned people and entities linked to the Wagner Group for their involvement in this recruitment.
In response, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, sent a letter to US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen proposing to open a branch in the US. Despite the letter’s apparent trolling, the US is determined to continue its sanctions in order to “degrade Moscow’s capacity to wage war against Ukraine”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has designated three individuals, as heads of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, under E.O. 14024, for their role in facilitating the recruitment of Russian prisoners into the Wagner Group. One such case was that of Zambian student Lemekhani Nyirenda, who died in battle in Ukraine in September. Russian officials only informed Zambian authorities about his death in November. A Tanzanian student, Nemes Tarimo, was also buried in Dar es Salaam recently. Tarimo was reportedly recruited from prison with the promise of payment and commuting his seven-year term for an undisclosed offense.
Although some African countries have not directly condemned Russia for recruiting their nationals to fight in Ukraine, only Tanzania has officially warned its citizens against fighting in foreign wars. Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign affairs minister, Sergey Lavrov, has visited several African nations, including South Africa, Angola, and Eritrea, in an effort to secure support for Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
At a White House briefing on Friday, Vedant Patel, the US State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson, warned that African countries that work with the Wagner Group are compromising regional peace and security. He stated that countries that partner closely with Prigozhin and the Wagner Group “find themselves susceptible to deeply destabilizing activities” that can harm not only their own country but also the wider region.
The US sanctions against the Wagner Group also include five entities that form part of the group’s key infrastructure, including an aviation firm, a propaganda organization, and front companies based in the Central African Republic, China, Luxembourg, and the United Arab Emirates.
Ambazonia – Cameroon’s denial of Canadian mediation criticized
Tibor Nagy, a former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and a long-term US diplomat, has expressed his disappointment at the government of Cameroon’s denial of authorizing Canadian mediation in the Ambazonia crisis. In a tweet, Nagy wrote that the denial shows a split in the Biya regime and indicates that both sides are positioning for a post-Biya government.
Nagy’s statement comes amid growing concerns about the ongoing conflict in the Ambazonia region of Cameroon, which has resulted in widespread human rights abuses, displacement, and political unrest. The conflict, which began in 2016, has been fueled by decades of marginalization and neglect of the English-speaking regions of the country by the predominantly French-speaking government in Yaoundé.
Imagine if the factors in Southern Cameroon's (#Ambazonia) crisis were reversed and a majority Anglophone government was brutalizing a Francophone population. Anyone doubt that France would be hyper-active in supporting Ambazonians? Too bad Anglophone countries don't do same.
— Tibor Nagy (@TiborPNagyJr) January 26, 2023
As a seasoned diplomat with years of experience in African affairs, Nagy is well-acquainted with the complexities of the Cameroonian conflict. His statement reflects the views of many observers who believe that the government’s denial of Canadian mediation is a disappointing and concerning development in the ongoing crisis.
The denial of Canadian mediation is particularly significant because it demonstrates the government’s unwillingness to engage in a constructive and meaningful dialogue with the people of Ambazonia. It also indicates that the government is not interested in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict and is instead opting for a more confrontational approach.
Nagy’s statement also highlights the importance of international pressure in bringing about change in Cameroon. He suggests that without significant pressure, the regime is unlikely to make any voluntary changes. This highlights the crucial role that international actors can play in promoting peace and stability in the region.
In conclusion, Nagy’s statement serves as a wake-up call for the international community to pay closer attention to the Ambazonia crisis and to take action to support the people of the region. As a former US diplomat, Nagy’s perspective carries weight and serves as a powerful reminder of the need for the international community to take a more proactive role in addressing the ongoing conflict in Cameroon.
Islamic State-affiliated ADF kills 15 in DR Congo
Bunia, DR Congo – A series of violent attacks on villages in eastern DR Congo, believed to be carried out by Islamic State-affiliated ADF rebels, have left at least 15 people dead, according to local officials. This latest round of violence comes just one week after a similar attack that resulted in the deaths of over 20 people.
“There were simultaneous attacks this Sunday between 4:00 and 5:00 am on three villages…,” said local official Dieudonne Malangai. “In Manyala village we found seven bodies… at Ofay, there were eight dead, including seven women,” Malangai reported to the press, and indicated that the final death toll might be higher. A humanitarian source confirmed seven fatalities in Manyala and “at least eight” in Ofay.
Despite the efforts of local security forces, these attacks have continued to occur on a regular basis in the region. Many local residents have grown increasingly frustrated and tired of the ongoing violence, with Malangai stating, “We are tired of giving the death toll day after day.”
ADF fighters have also been blamed for last week’s raids in the neighboring province of North Kivu, which cost at least 23 lives. In the same province, at least 14 people were killed in a bomb blast at a pentecostal church.
Islamic State portrays the ADF, which has its roots in Rwanda, as its central African incarnation. In an attempt to stem the violence, the government in May 2021 declared a state of alert in North Kivu and Ituri, replacing civil administrators with police and troops. However, despite these efforts, the attacks continue to occur with regularity, leaving local residents feeling vulnerable and unprotected.
In addition to the loss of life, the attacks have also had a devastating impact on the local economy, with many businesses and farms being destroyed. This, in turn, has led to widespread poverty and food insecurity in the region.
The ADF, which has been active in the region since the 1990s, is known for its brutality and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The group’s tactics have been widely condemned by the international community and human rights organizations, but the government’s efforts to combat the group have so far been ineffective.
The continued violence in eastern DR Congo is a tragic reminder of the urgent need for a sustainable solution to the ongoing conflict. The government must take immediate action to protect civilians and bring an end to the violence. The international community must also provide support to help stabilize the region and provide aid to those affected by the conflict. Only by working together can we hope to bring peace and stability to this troubled region.
Cameroon – Ambazonia Silent War May Escalate -JIHA
The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon is one of Africa’s newest struggles for liberation. The crisis emerged from legal and education grievances in 2016 and rapidly escalated into a secessionist political conflict that is threatening the unity of the country, with the potential to degenerate into a complex emergency. The crisis has been intensifying and has raised concerns about the potential for it to evolve into a “Complex Disaster Emergency” (CDE) in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
In an exploratory, qualitative, analytical, and descriptive case study research tradition involving document/content analysis, the Robert Strauss Centre’s complex emergency framework was applied to investigate the potential of the Anglophone crisis. The research found that 72.5% of the variables in all the complex emergencies fall within the relevant to extremely relevant ranking criteria. Furthermore, the establishment of a nexus between the Anglophone crisis and a natural hazard-induced disaster suggest an escalation of the crisis to an unbearable level.
The Anglophone crisis has been compounded by the high probability of a novel eruption at Mt. Cameroon coupled with the eminent threat of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This further heightens the potential for the crisis to cumulatively evolve into a CDE in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. The existential challenges in providing humanitarian assistance in the conflict region are immense, and by applying the Robert Strauss Centre’s complex emergency framework, this article concludes with an early warning for an impending CDE that could heighten humanitarian challenges unless there is foresight and goodwill by relevant actors to immediately commence a process of adequate contingency planning.
In conclusion, the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon is a complex and rapidly evolving situation that has the potential to degenerate into a “Complex Disaster Emergency” (CDE) in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. The crisis has been intensifying and has raised concerns about the potential for it to evolve into a CDE. It is important for relevant actors to take immediate action and begin adequate contingency planning to mitigate the potential humanitarian challenges that may arise.
MNK Speaks From Captivity Urges IPOB To Remain Resolute
Barrister Aloy Ejimako visited the detained leader of IPOB Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at DSS headquarters in Abuja earlier today. According to him, incarceration is tough but Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is tougher. He said Kanu urges Biafrans to be tough and maintain their ground. In his own words, I had the opportunity to visit with #MNK, and the topics covered during our meeting were incredibly enlightening. Firstly, we discussed the appeal that is currently pending before the Supreme Court. MNK shared his thoughts on the matter and his hopes for a favorable outcome.
Furthermore, I was able to update MNK on the latest cases I had filed on his behalf last week. The situation of detention can be incredibly difficult, but MNK’s strength and determination in the face of adversity is truly impressive. He urged all of us to maintain our positions and be just as tough as he is.
It was particularly striking to hear Onyendu express his steadfast commitment to the Biafra restoration movement. He emphasized the importance of continuing to push for this cause, even in the face of obstacles and challenges.
Additionally, I filed a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami, last week. The suit aims to put an end to any further defamatory publications that Onyendu #MNK jumped bail. Such publications are highly prejudicial and injurious to MNK’s other cases pending in various courts, and it is essential that they come to an end.
Overall, my visitation with MNK was incredibly valuable, and I left feeling inspired and motivated to continue fighting for his rights and the Biafra restoration movement. It is clear that Onyendu is a remarkable individual who is dedicated to his cause and determined to overcome any obstacles in his path.
Furthermore, MNK also spoke about the importance of unity and solidarity within the Biafra restoration movement. He emphasized that it is essential for all members of the movement to work together and support one another in order to achieve our common goal. He also urged us to be vigilant and stay informed about the latest developments in the movement, and to take action when necessary.
MNK’s words were incredibly powerful and provided a much-needed boost of inspiration and motivation. His determination and resolve in the face of adversity is truly admirable and serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up for what we believe in.
Last week, I filed a Suit against AGF Malami to stop him from making any further defamatory publication that Onyendu #MNK jumped bail. Such publication is highly prejudicial & injurious to MNK’s other cases pending in various courts. It has to stop! pic.twitter.com/UmGgCHKDEa
— aloy ejimakor (@AloyEjimakor) January 17, 2023
It was a privilege to be able to speak with MNK and hear his thoughts on the current state of the Biafra restoration movement. His words will undoubtedly inspire others to join the cause and fight for the rights of the people of Biafra.
In conclusion, the visitation with MNK was a valuable and enlightening experience. It was clear that MNK is a strong and determined individual who is committed to the Biafra restoration movement. His words were powerful and inspiring, and serve as a reminder of the importance of standing up for what we believe in. The fight for Biafra restoration is one that requires unity, solidarity and determination, and with a leader like MNK at the helm, we can be confident that we will eventually achieve our goal.
Mass graves of 49 civilians found in DR Congo
UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have uncovered mass graves containing the bodies of 49 civilians following a series of attacks blamed on a local armed group, Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO). The graves were found in two villages in northeastern Ituri province, about 30km (19 miles) east of the town of Bunia.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the United Nations, told reporters in New York on Wednesday that 42 victims, including six children, were discovered in a mass grave in the village of Nyamamba, while the bodies of seven other men were found in another village, Mbogi.
“Peacekeepers launched a patrol to the area immediately after receiving reports of attacks on civilians by the CODECO militias over the weekend. This is when they made the gruesome discoveries,” he said. The UN is calling for an investigation to establish if the mass graves and the attacks are linked. The UN regional peacekeeping operation, MONUSCO, is also supporting the Congolese judicial system to investigate the attacks and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
Ituri, a restive province bordering Uganda, has seen a spate of violence in recent weeks, after the killing of a teacher belonging to the Lendu community triggered reprisal attacks from CODECO, which claims to represent the ethnic group. The Lendu and Hema communities have a longstanding feud, which led to thousands of deaths between 1999 and 2003 before an intervention by a European peacekeeping force.
Haq also warned of a “significant deterioration of the security situation” in Ituri, saying that at least 195 civilians have been killed, 68 wounded and 84 people abducted since December during attacks attributed to the CODECO and Zaire militias. More than 1.5 million people in Ituri province have also been displaced by the fighting. The UN is urging for the protection of civilians and for all parties to respect human rights.
Armed groups in Burkina Faso target civilians, 50 women kidnapped
Armed groups in Burkina Faso are increasingly targeting civilians, according to the country’s military leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore. He made the statement after about 50 women were kidnapped in the restive Soum province in the West African country on January 12 and 13.
Some of the women managed to escape and have recounted their ordeal, which included being forced to walk through the bush for a whole day, and being made to shepherd stolen sheep to disguise the kidnappings.
According to the escapees, the gunmen forced them to walk through the bush for a whole day, and assembled them again the next morning, it was at this moment that some of them decided to take a risk and managed to escape.
One of the survivors said, “I managed to hide in a ravine with another [woman],”. “We got back to the village at nightfall. Others returned the following morning.”
Captain Traore also said that the terrorist groups are switching tactics and focusing on civilians. He said, “Today, another phase has been launched by the terrorists,”.
Fulani Terrorists Continues Their Genocidal Massacre In Ebonyi
Again, Fulani Terror herdsmen sponsored, armed, and guarded by Nigeria Fulani-led federal government has continued their genocidal massacre of Biafrans in Ebonyi.
According to a viral video online, a reporter can be heard saying that the Fulani Terrorists are not relenting in the quest to kill everyone in Ebonyi state.
This is about the 4th time in the last 6 months that Fulani terrorists have gone on the large-scale slaughter of Ebonyi people.
He called on Eastern Security Network(ESN) to come to the aid of the Ebonyi people. ESN was formed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to safeguard Biafrans against marauding Fulani terrorists.
This is the reason why we need #ESN.
Anybody on Uniform in Biafraland is a terrorist. pic.twitter.com/P9l7mfD9Ec
— IPOB FINEST 20K HANDS (@20kIpob) June 7, 2021
However, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi has been against the formation of ESN and has been working assiduously to eliminate ESN personnel from Ebonyi instead of supporting them.
This led to the creation of the Ebubeagu Security Network to fight the ESN in Ebonyi and other Eastern states. Ebubeagu has never and does not have the capacity to confront Fulani Terror Herdsmen wielding automatic assault rifles given to them by the Nigerian government.
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