Today, Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub. Indeed, it hosts the East African Community and it has been a crucial city in the history of modern Tanzania. Here, the official documents ceding independence to Tanganyika and the union with Zanzibar were signed. The current site of Arusha was first settled by Maasai people from the Chini community, south of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group also extended their trade network into the area which is now southern Kenya. In 1896, in response to the murder of two missionaries who attempted to settle here, Arusha was conquered by the Germans and many indigenous were forcibly displaced from their lands by the Germans to dig lime or carry stones to construct the military fort. During World War I, the area fell under British control and throughout the year’s civilian administration was implemented, gradually handing back power to local figures. During this time, US missionaries, British and Greek settlers reoccupied the area, and the town grew exponentially. In the late ’50s the power in the country shifted to the Tanganyika African National Union and the city was officially declared in 2006.
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