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Oman: The People Want an End to Corruption

“The people want an end to corruption” chanted thousands of Omanis, who have been protesting since Friday in Salalah and Sohar, as well as other parts of Oman.

Last week's similar – but smaller protests in Sohar and Muscat – have brought about a cabinet reshuffle today, where Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said changed six ministers. The announcement was made today but that didn't seem to stop the wave of protesters who have gathered to demand more rights over the previous two days.

According to Dhofari Gucci, who blogs from Salalah, the protesters demands are as follows:

What demands? They want the following from His Majesty the Sultan:
.
(1) An end to corruption in the government
(2) More jobs for people in need
(3) increase in salaries for the poor, widows and divorced women
(4) Lowering prices
(5) An end to financial and administrative wasta (influence/nepotism) in the government and private sector
(6) And other demands.

She continues:

Evidently protests have erupted in Sur, Sohar, Shinas, and more in Muscat. What is going on in the Arab world?!!

Tweets:

Following are reactions on the protests, as well eye witness accounts on the ground, from Twitter: Evidently protests have erupted in Sur, Sohar, Shinas, and more in Muscat. What is going on in the Arab world?!!

@sultanalqassemi: Al Hurra: Eyewitness: Thousands are protesting in Oman. Protesters are unhappy about the ministerial changes, calling it the same faces.

@ihab23: @monaeltahawy Currently 200-300 protesters in Sohar #Oman, demanding pay hikes&replacement of specific ministers. Protesters blockin main rd

@jaredcohen: Protests in #Oman; that is when you really know the revolutionary fervor has spread; sultan reshuffles cabinet in response

@Maithams: There doesn't seem to be any police action..Earlier in the evening the police was helping the traffic caused by the protester #Sohar #Oman

Omani1970 tweets [ar]:

#oman على حسب المصدر تقريبا عدد المعتصمين في دوار صحار وصل 4000 شخص والعدد فيي ازياد من الولايات المجاورة
“According to a source, the number of protesters at the Sohar roundabout has reached 4,000 and it is increasing as more protesters join from neighbouring governorates.”

Omani1970:

إذاعة إلكترونية من يدان الاعتصام في صلالة http://www.dhofari.com/radio/radio.html
“There is an electronic radio station at the demonstration square in Salalah: http://www.dhofari.com/radio/radio.html ”

@Maithams: Protesters in #Sohar Roundabout at 12 am! #Oman http://twitpic.com/443l9k

@Maithams: About 30 trucks are parked on the main rounds heading towards #Sohar roundabout! Cars are using the service roads #Sohar #Oman

Omani1970 [ar] reports the protests in Salalah and Sohar continue:

#oman أخبار غير مؤكدة ان الجيش طوق ميناء صحار بعد اعلان المتظاهرين توجههم للميناء وقوات الشعب بحسب افادة احد افراد الشرطة وصل عددها الفين
“There are unconfirmed reports that the army has cordoned Sohar Port after protesters announced that they would march to the port. The number of riot police, according to a policeman, has reached 2,000.”

@blakehounshell: “We want the Shura Council to have legislative powers!” doesn't exactly trip off the tongue. http://t.co/xGN53vE #oman

@Maithams: A protester from #Sohar Roundabout told me “200 cars are coming from Sur to join the protest here in Sohar!” #Sohar #Oman

@Maithams: Although there was some violence earlier today, the protest seems to be peaceful now! #Sohar #Oman

@AbdulHamidAhmad: Sit-in in Sohar town in Oman forces hypermarkets to close down. http://j.mp/g1cgdf

@ihab23: Sohar, #Oman protesters r pulling truck drivers out of vehicles&taking their keys to block the main highway.Also some looting of supermarket

@Maithams: The protesters attacked lulu hypermarket and took water and rice! Some damage was there! Lulu closed at 8 #Sohar #Oman

@Matthias_Sailer: @Malik_73 see how fast this can change: now first protests in #Oman

@Elshani2010: @yvonneridley @Elshani2010 @ArabRevolution No its definetly Oman, they reshuffling/panicking to avoid further protest. http://t.co/4h5Am4t

@sunnysingh_sw6: While Oman sultan shifts deck chairs on the Titanic protests break out insisting changes in cabinet are cosmetic. They really dont learn!

@Maithams: #Sohar protester ruin the beauitful Globe Roundabout with spray paint #Oman http://twitpic.com/443qpz

@Maithams: Some of the lamps in the roundabout got destroyed! All the walls r filled with spray paint writings of their demands #tragic #Sohar #Oman

@MariaOcean: to those who vandalize during protests, shame on u.that is not how Omanis act. hope things get through peacefully. #Sohar #Oman .k G.night

@PinHead95: hehe! protests have started in #oman now. Goodbye Autocracy, hello Democracy. #feb17 #jan25

إمتداد رياح التغيير و الثورة إلى سلطنة عمان تنذر بتحويل حياة قابوس إلى كابوس لأول مرة منذ سنوات طوال #Oman #Egypt #Tunisia #Libya #Yemen
@MotassemMelhem: The change and revolution spirit expansion to the Kingdom of Oman indicates that Qaboos (the King) won't have an easy life after long years (of stability)
للحين في الخليج ناس تعتقد بأن حقوقها المدنية هي مكرمات وهبات من شيوخها وأمرائها #Kuwait #Saudi #UAE #Bahrain #Qatar #Oman
@Beardist: Till now in the gulf some people think that civil rights are just grants from their Sheikhs and Princes.

@NellaLou: Surprised 2 hear about #Oman protests.Seemed fairly progressive last time I was there.Sultan Qaboos is not stupid.I think he will see reason

@ihab23: Apparently ‘protests’ have been occurrin other parts of #Oman as well.Gov's office in #Salalah, #Muscat, #Shinas? http://bit.ly/etsbjl

Videos:

This video, from khawar107, shows protesters in Salalah last night chanting for an end of corruption:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPML7XXC8V0

And this video, from sohar9999, shows scenes from today's protests in Sohar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IYuWU37G4U

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