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10 Jan 2020 | 07:44 PM UTC

Oman: Sultan Qaboos dies January 11

Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman has died on January 11; three days of national mourning announced

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Event

State media announced that Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said of Oman died in the earning morning hours (local time) of Saturday, January 11. It also declared three days of national mourning to impact both public and private sectors. With no heir or designated successor, the Royal Family Council is expected to choose a successor within three days. If they cannot agree, several high level officials will reportedly open a sealed envelope in which Sultan Qaboos privately recorded his choice of successor.

As of Saturday morning, details regarding the Sultan's funeral were not immediately released. Associated public commemorations are anticipated in the coming days in Oman and throughout the wider region. 

Context

Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said ousted his father in a bloodless coup in 1970, with the support of the British. As the longest-reigning monarch in the Middle East, Sultan Qaboos was Oman's paramount decision-maker holding the positions of prime minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of defence, minister of finance, and minister of foreign affairs. His domestic policies aimed at developing and modernizing the country brought him strong popular support. 

Advice

Individuals in Oman are advised to keep abreast of the situation, respect local customs, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.