The United Republic of Tanzania (//; Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a sovereign state in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The states eastern borders lie in the Indian Ocean.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mkoa (regions). The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country's political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania, and is major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika
, the two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
A panoramic view of the city of Dar es Salaam. Visible are the Bank of Tanzania twin towers, the PPF Towers, the Mafuta House and the Julius Nyerere Pension Tower, to the right; the Kariakoo area next with the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium at the back, followed by the slums.
In the 1998 United States embassy bombings (August 7, 1998) hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks, linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to American attention for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.
The bombings are widely believed to have been revenge for American involvement in the extradition, and alleged torture, of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) who had been arrested in Albania in the two months prior to the explosions and extradited to Egypt. Between June and July, Ahmad Isma'il 'Uthman Saleh, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Sayyid al-Naggar, Shawqi Salama Mustafa Atiya and Mohamed Hassan Tita were all renditioned from Albania to Egypt, with the cooperation of the United States, accused of participating in the assassination of Rifaat el-Mahgoub, as well as a later plot against the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo. The following month, a communique was issued warning the US that a "response" was being prepared to repay them for their interference.
This month in Tanzanian history
Credit: The Rambling Man
The serval, Leptailurus serval, is a medium-sized African wild cat. Modern molecular DNA analysis indicates servals descend from the same Felid ancestor as the lion. The serval maintains its own unique lineage, and appears to share common traits with the cheetah, which may have descended from ancient servals. Similar DNA studies have shown the African golden cat and the caracal are closely related to the serval.
Paramount Chief Mkwavinyika Munyigumba Mwamuyinga (1855 – 19 July 1898), more commonly known as Chief Mkwawa, was a Hehe tribal leader in German East Africa (now mostly the mainland part of Tanzania) who opposed the German colonisation. The name "Mkwawa" is derived from Mukwava, itself a shortened form of Mukwavinyika, meaning "conqueror of many lands". Mkwawa was born in Luhota and was the son of Chief Munyigumba, who died in 1879.
In July 1891, the German commissioner, Emil von Zelewski, led a battalion of soldiers (320 askaris with officers and porters) to suppress the Hehe. On 17 August, they were attacked by Mkwawa's 3,000-strong army at Lugalo, who, despite only being equipped with spears and a few guns, quickly overpowered the German force and killed Zelewski.
On 28 October 1894, the Germans, under the new commissioner Colonel Freiherr Friedrich von Schele, attacked Mkwawa's fortress at Kalenga. Although they took the fort, Mkwawa managed to escape. Subsequently, Mkwawa conducted a campaign of guerrilla warfare, harassing the Germans until 1898 when, on 19 July, he was surrounded and committed suicide rather than be captured.
After his death, German soldiers removed Mkwawa's head. The skull was returned to Tanzania in 1954.
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