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Oman Reshuffles Cabinet to Quell Unrest

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TEHRAN, March 7 (ICANA) – Sultan Qaboos of Oman has sacked 12 ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle in a bid to end weeks of anti-government protests in the Persian Gulf state.
Monday, March 07, 2011 9:30:20 PM
Oman Reshuffles Cabinet to Quell Unrest

"The Sultan of Oman has ordered a reshuffle of the council of ministers," a state television announcer said on Monday.

The reshuffle was expected after Sultan Qaboos sacked two ministers on Saturday in response to protesters' grievances, which include corruption and a slow pace of democratic reform.

However, Omani protesters demanding a clampdown on corruption in the sultanate, maintained vigils on Monday.

Last week, six protesters were killed in a police crackdown on gatherings in the key industrial city of Sohar.

A peaceful sit-in at a roundabout in Sohar entered its ninth day on Monday with activists demanding the sacking of more ministers for alleged corruption.

Another crowd has maintained an anti-corruption sit-in outside the consultative council in Muscat, which is the sultanate's equivalent of parliament but without legislative authority.

On Sunday, some 200 employees at Oman Air staged a sit-in outside the national carrier's headquarters, demanding higher salaries and promotions.

In a bid to quell the unrest in the sultanate, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed ordered the formation of a ministerial committee to draw up proposals to meet calls for the consultative council to be given more powers.

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