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).
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.
Window Of Opportunity For Peace In Mali ‘Slowly Narrowing,’ Warns Secretary-General
“We meet less than a year before the next presidential election,” said Mr. Guterres, stressing that the coming months will be an opportunity for Malians and their institutions to show their dedication to peace and the rule of law.
Noting that municipal elections in November last year were not held in all regions and suffered a low turnout, he encouraged the Malian authorities to ensure the success of the presidential election.
He added that numerous delays and slow implementation of critical provisions of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali are always a cause of concern, including the postponement of the review of the Constitution.
Delays in security sector reform related to the redeployment of the reformed and reconstituted Malian defence and security forces in the centre and north are also to be noted.
Mr. Guterres added that a number of achievements were recorded in recent months encompassing security, development, reductions in community violence, efforts to prevent the recruitment of youth.
“Yet the country’s achievements – that are remarkable – remain fragile, especially in light of the recent confrontations between armed groups and recurring attacks,” he went on. “Trust is being tested but we welcome the signature, earlier today, of a ceasefire agreement between the two signatory movements which also re-emphasizes their commitment to the implementation of the peace agreement.”
New institutions, processes and laws have yet to translate into significant improvements in the daily lives of Malians, the Secretary-General stated, adding that inclusivity, especially of women, youth and other under-represented social groups, remains insufficient, and constraints to humanitarian access persist.
“The window of opportunity for the Government to provide long-awaited peace dividends is slowly narrowing,” said Mr. Guterres.
The UN chief also urged the international community to ensure unity of purpose in financially and logistically supporting regional undertaking, such as the G5 Sahel Joint Force, to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime because, if successful, the Force can not only contribute to an enabling environment for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali to fully implement its mandate but also advance progress in the Malian peace process.
But the most sustainable solution remains the strengthening of Mali’s own security architecture, Mr. Guterres said, stressing that the absence of a comprehensive strategy for security sector reform needs to be urgently addressed.
Mauritanian Minister Highlights Country’s Successful Efforts To Combat Terrorism
After heavy fighting in 2010 and 2011, and despite a complex regional situation, Mauritania has faced the threat of terrorism successfully. “We have strengthened our defensive capacities while respecting human rights and putting in place a policy of sustainable development,” he explained. In addition, Mauritania has succeeded in building a constructive dialogue with the opposition and civil society, improving governance and reforming institutions, particularly with regard to women’s rights.
Mauritania, he continued, has reformed its legal frameworks on the basis of international agreements, in particular, to better combat terrorism. To this end, he noted the conclusion of agreements with some groups in order to allow their members to reintegrate into society in a productive way.
Mauritania, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has eradicated illegal migration from its territory, the Minister continued. “We also set out a roadmap on the fight against terrorism, including through a social assistance program,” he said, adding that repatriation programmes have also been implemented for migrants, in order to enable them to return to the country under favourable conditions.
The Minister also spoke about the problems caused by climate change in the Sahel region. In this regard, he encouraged all parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change to honour their commitments in order to limit the impacts of the phenomenon.
Transitional Justice In Tunisia – A Painful but Necessary Step Forward
Recent public hearings of saw a painful period of collective introspection for the country’s people.
Tales of humiliations, torture, and rape committed over a near-60 year period—starting at around the time of Tunisia’s independence from France—were broadcast in eight live public hearing sessions from November 2016 to March 2017.
According to Refic Hodzic of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), transitional justice processes generally take place in polarized contexts, in which there is resistance to change.
This has proven true in Tunisia, where the TDC and its chair have been the target of attacks by political and media leaders, mainly those linked to the old regime, over their operating costs and financial management.
Some have also criticized the choice of victims in the public hearings, arguing that the majority are Islamist activists, though, given that Islamists were the main oppressed group under the old secular regime, their over-representation here makes sense.
The hearings are the only publicly visible component of the commission, which has received 62,641 cases to date. It was established following the Tunisian revolution, which led to the removal of long-standing president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and initiated the wider Arab Spring.
Tunisia was unique among Arab nations in seeing a peaceful transition to a democratic system.
Six years into this process, Tunisia has successfully written a new constitution, held two rounds of free and fair legislative elections, and democratically elected a president. It is now following the lead of other countries who have gone through major political upheavals.
Based on investigations, testimony-gathering, and archival research, truth commissions were instrumental in the successful transitional periods of countries such as Argentina, Peru, and South Africa.
The TDC will produce a final report covering the period from 1955-2013, during which the successive oppressive administrations of Habib Bourguiba and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali turned Tunisia into a police state under one-party-rule.
The regimes imposed routine restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, and association, and relied heavily on intimidation, arbitrary arrests, beatings, torture, residential restrictions, and travel controls, alongside systemic corruption and economic marginalization.
Among the many women who spoke at the recent hearings was Latifa Matmati. Although her husband Kamal Matmati was killed in 1991, she only learned of his fate in 2011. For 20 years, she brought clothes to the police station where she believed he was held captive; for 20 years, the police did nothing to stop her.
Sami Brahim, meanwhile, told of his experience of abuse and torture while in jail: “All the prisoners were stripped, the young and the elderly. For an entire week, everyone was kept naked.”
He said that he was ready to forgive his torturers, but that forgiveness must be accompanied by an explanation of why he was subjected to these activities.
After giving the floor to the victims, the TDC does indeed plan to have torturers testify, to explain the mechanisms that fueled the repression.
The hearings were an eye-opening experience for many Tunisians who didn’t know such abuses were taking place. Under the old regimes, information was tightly controlled and only those affected or linked to the victims were aware of what was going on.
According to Salwa El Gantri, ICTJ’s Head of Office in Tunisia, it is “difficult to make those who were never victims, who never had any links to victims, understand victims’ suffering and victims’ rights.”
The public hearings’ main purpose is thus to ensure those detached to hear the truth directly from the victims.
Despite millions tuning in via television, radio, and social media, it is still too early to assess the real impact on Tunisian society.
Beyond a widely shared sense of high emotion, the reactions have been diverse. While most Tunisians appreciated learning about the abuses directly from their victims, some have argued that it was the wrong time for the hearings to occur, as Tunisia faces more pressing issues, such as a stagnating economy, high corruption, and continuous terrorist attacks and other security threats.
While no one can deny the urgency of the various challenges Tunisia is facing and will continue to face for the next few years, compromise on the full implementation of the transitional justice is only likely to diminish efforts to prevent human rights abuses from repeating.
Successful democratic transitions require deep change to occur on multiple fronts and concurrently.
As its work continues it will be of paramount importance for the TDC to assess the effectiveness of its operations and make any necessary improvements.
It should also keep up and even increase its communication efforts. This will help restore and maintain its credibility and relevance among the public, and challenge negative perceptions on the transitional justice process, as well as reform and democratization more broadly.
The successful creation of the pillars of the democratic transition was a remarkable achievement in a region crippled by an acute lack of individual freedoms, unemployment, corruption, war, and terrorism. To stay on track, ambitious reforms will be necessary.
Continued progress on transitional justice can help in this process, by improving the institutions that were once complicit in the abuses, primarily the police and judiciary.
If nothing else, the public hearings have successfully initiated a constructive national debate on these issues. They have also made some degree of contribution to repairing the population’s trust in justice and the ongoing transition.
Following his public testimony, Sami Brahim reported receiving thousands of letters and messages of support, while one of the TDC commissioners, Ibtihel Abdellatif, described the hearings in terms of a seismic event—“not an earthquake that destroys, but an earthquake that builds.”
This article was originally published by the Global Observatory of the International Peace Institute.
Algeria – 12 Years After In Terrorist Strongholds, Extremist Surrenders
Algeria- An armed Algerian extremist left terrorist strongholds and surrendered to local military authorities after spending 12 years in the ranks of extremist groups.
Meanwhile, the Algerian army command announced dismantling thousands of anti-personnel mines, dating back to the French colonial period between 1830 and 1962.
On its official website, Algeria’s Ministry of National Defense described the terrorist who surrendered on Sunday in El Milia as “dangerous.”
“D. Fares” aka “Abu Osama,” who had joined terrorist groups in 2005, had a Kalashnikov type machine gun, ammunition and a pair of binoculars, said a statement from the Defense Ministry.
The Ministry neither did mention the organization to which the terrorist belonged nor the crimes he may have committed while operating; however, the most famous extremist groups is known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).
In this context, the Ministry launched again an appeal to remaining terrorists to seize the opportunity and benefit from the regulations in force, like those who surrendered to the security authorities.
Egypt – Central Sinai, Anti Terror Military Raid, 7 Killed, 3 Arrested
The Egyptian military has carried anti-terrorist operations in Sinai on Monday.
The military spokesperson said that the military killed seven terrorists including two “leading members of terrorist groups,” in North Sinai in a statement published on social media.
He also said in a separate statement that three terrorist suspects were arrested in central Sinai.
In both operations together, the spokesperson said it destroyed vehicles and motorcycles, a tunnel, and cannabis farms, in addition to dozens of “terrorist dens” where they found computers and material used to manufacture explosives.
Several photos of the operations were published. They included one photo of the three arrested suspects and a photo of the tunnel. The tunnel was reported to have been discovered in the border zone, among other tunnels reported to have been destroyed every month.
In 2014, the military began working on a buffer zone in Rafah by removing residents’ houses with the aim of securing the borders with Gaza and putting an end to terror.
Biafra – Another Accused In The Ozubulu Church Terrorist Attack, Kingsley Ekeoma, A.K.A Escoba Clears The Air On Identity Mix-up, Sues Ait & Sun (Photos)
Ozubulu Church Massacre: Kingsley Ekeoma ‘Escobar’ Not Connected To Incident, Demands Apology From Sun
The Ozubulu church massacre has opened a new discourse about poor journalism in Nigeria. And the rush to publish unfounded and unsubstantiated stories in the media by big and small media houses and even in blogs by bloggers, who most of the time copy from websites of big media outlets, hoping that they have verified their stories thoroughly before publishing.
When the incident happened at St Philip church in Ozubulu in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state, every media and the social media users jumped on it like every other news. But sooner than expected the truer picture is beginning to emerge that the two businessmen the media rushed to involve in the incident are not part of it.
In one of them, another man whose name and the video was wrongly and defame-ably connected to the incident has threatened to sue The Sun Newspaper unless he gets a unreserved apology from the said newspaper firm or else he would proceed to the law court.
The issue is that The Sun newspaper published a video of Mr Kingsley Ekeoma as the man who was sought after by the killers, who carried out the unspeakable massacre in the house of God on Sunday in Ozubulu.
The problem here is that these stories were never verified before these media outlets went to the air to publish barrages of unsubstantiated information. The stories in so many cases were incoherent and names were badly mangled and got even unsuspecting readers confused as who is the real person and where he is actually from.
The man, Kingsley Ekeoma, popularly known as Escobar who was alleged by the Nigerian media (Sun newspaper) and the Nigeria Police as the one purportedly involved in the drug dealers cartel which the gunmen that killed worshippers on Sunday were looking for, has come out to deny his involvement in the act.
Escobar has threatened to institute a lawsuit against The Sun newspaper and the police for defamation of character.
According to him, he is neither from Ozubulu nor has he ever visited South Africa in his lifetime.
Hear him: “Am neither the so called Bishop nor from Ozubulu in Anambra State. I have never been to South Africa nor Ozubulu before.
I hail from Umuahia Abia State but base in Turkey. I am a legitimate businessman (Verified Real Estate Developer in Abuja).
I hereby call on the office of the Inspector General of police, DSS and other security related departments to do proper investigations into the massacre in Ozubulu. As for AIT and Sun Newspaper wait for me.
I know some stupid fools want to tarnish my reputations but I will follow up this case with my team of lawyers till the end.
My sympathy to the bereaved families and the truth must prevail. Please, my beloved friends, Help me and share this report around and viral. God bless you all.”
IPOB Call For Referendum Is NOT War – Nigeria Never Stopped The War Against Biafra
Boko Haram Slaughter Dozens Of Nigerian Soldiers And Oil Explorers
The prospects of oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin of Nigeria in Borno state has suffered a major setback as Boko Haram have on Wednesday reportedly ambushed and attack a team of workers between Magumeri and Gubio on their way back to Maiduguri, security sources have revealed.
The source informed that the workers were ambushed around Borno Yeso area of Magumeri, adding that “security personal providing protection and security to the workers including geologists from the University of Maiduguri were also badly affected in the ambushed.
Another source speculated that out of the ten vehicles that conveyed the oil workers including security, only one ten seater bus returned to Maiduguri with five wounded people hospitalized at the State Specialist Hospital Maiduguri.
The source added that many have been feared dead or taken alive as no contact has so far been made by some of the members of the team during the attack
There is no official statement from the military command in Borno State and the State Police Command on the attack.
A credible military source also informed our correspondent that some students of the Geology Department of the University, members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and other security personnel were victims of the attack
The Military source regretted that a conspiracy by head of the securities in trying to shield the information from the public.
His words: “As at 9:00 today Wednesday, no rescue plan has been put in place as far as I am aware from either the Nigeria Airforce component from the Theatre.
“Between Wednesday and today, only ten of the victims can be confirmed to be alive. The five oil workers that escaped the attack Wednesday were hospitalized at the Borno State Specialist Hospital
ALSO READ; BREAKING: Boko Haram: Multiple explosions Rock Maiduguri Again!.
“Also this morning around 5:00 precisely five others who escaped also called and told us their location.
“The five victims at the state specialist told us that out of the ten vehicles conveying the team from magumeri, only their vehicle escaped the attack with bullets shots, flat tyres and smashed wind screen.
“They said the insurgents had chased them for more than ten kilometers adding that most of the vehicle and the persons involved did not make it out of Magumeri,” the source disclosed.
The Nation recalls that President Buhari last year issued directives to the NNPC to resume the exploration of oil in the Lake Chad Basin and River Kolnami.
In compliance with the Presidential Directives, the GMD of NNPC sent a delegation to Borno State in May this year who paid courtesies on Gov. Kashim Shettima and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi with the assurance that the exploration will begin in six weeks’ time as peace was gradually returning to the state.
The latest attack has however cast a dark shadow on the prospect of the continuation of the exploration with renewed Boko Haram attacks and the increasing insecurity in the Lake Chad.
Chad – Fight Against Boko Haram, The Joint Multinational Force Gets A New Commander
Several times commander in the military operations against Boko Haram, Major General Leo Irabor is a man full of experiences in the fight against terrorism
Nigeria’s Leo Irabor has replaced his compatriot Lo Adeosun as head of the Mixed Multinational Force (FMM) command. The official change of command ceremony was chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), FMM Head of Mission Sanusi Imran Abdullahi, on Saturday, 08 July 2017, at the Headquarters of the Force in N’Djamena.
Several times commander in the military operations against Boko Haram in Nigeria and in the border countries, Major General Leo Irabor is a man full of experiences in the fight against terrorism. His appointment comes within the framework of the strategies adopted by the Nigerian army in the fight against Boko Haram where several officers were appointed and assigned to military operations nationally and internationally. Major General Leo Irabo is the fourth commander of the FMM since his installation in Chad.
Founded in 2015, the FMM has genuinely entered into action only from February 2016 when the first major operations were carried out to fight Boko Haram. At least four of them can be mentioned: that of 11 to 14 February 2016 in the Nigerian city of Ngoshe; The 24 February attack in the town of Kumshe in Nigeria near the Cameroon border considered as a rear base of Boko Haram; That of 16 March 2016 in the Cameroonian and Nigerian communities of Djibril and Zamga; And from 10 to 16 March 2016 in the Madawya Forest in Nigeria. Through its presence and actions, the FMM has contributed to a relative improvement in the security situation in the localities around Lake Chad.