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Location of Maseru in Lesotho
Maseru is the capital of Lesotho. Located on the Caledon River, bordering South Africa, it is Lesotho's only sizable city, with a population of approximately 180,000 (2004). It is the capital or camptown of the Maseru District. Up until 2004 Maseru had a growing textile industry supported by and invested in by Chinese manufactures. Since the expiration of US tariffs to China the textile industry in Lesotho has tapered off. The city's manufactures once included candles and carpets but has been overshadowed by South African industry. Maseru is located at 29.31° S 27.48° E.Maseru is located on the border with South Africa, by the Maseru Bridge border post. On the South African side, Ladybrand is the town closest to Maseru.Maseru was a small trading town when it was made the capital of the Basotho people by Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe I in 1869. It was the capital of the British Basutoland protectorate from 1869 to 1871 and from 1884 to 1966, when Basutoland gained its independence and was renamed Lesotho.The National University of Lesotho is near the city, in a town called Roma, and an international airport is also nearby, at Thoteng-ea-Moli.
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