And I'm still baffled. After Thursday and Friday's drama, things calmed down a bit. However, the army are still occupying central Salalah and making anyone in the area feel like an offender. Hundreds of protesters were taken to Arzat Prison and are still in there. Their families/friends are outside the prison all day demanding their release.
From what I've seen, many locals are upset because it almost feels like an invasion (my opinion). Worth noting that the soldiers and security forces are (no offence) are from the north of Oman. Not one southern face (and of course it's easy to tell the difference because southerners are a completely difference race). I'm talking about 'soldiers'. The only Dhofari security forces seem to be the Firqat Forces (unique to Dhofar from post-rebellion era) and they're not visible at all. I've driven around the 'occupied' area at least a dozen times and have not seen one. The relationship between the North and south has always been a weeee bit sensitive because people remember the rebellion in the 60s-70s. I'm not against people from the north at all, don't get me wrong. Some of my closest friends are from the north. We're all one country and we're loyal to one leader. I'm just saying this clear discrimination is worrying, and it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of Dhofaris. However, there's no point getting mad at the soldiers because they're just doing their job, regardless of where they're from. Remember, this is my PERSONAL opinion only.
Several head speakers from the protests were arrested and sent to Muscat immediately (namely Nasser Sakroon, Bakhit Al Mahri, Fahim Al Mashani, Salim Al Mashani, Amer Hardan , and others). God only knows where they'll end up. As for the remaining several hundreds who are in prison here, they're refusing the sign the committment form until the Muscat bunch are released. So, I don't anticipate them leaving prison anytime soon.
On a more cheerful note, it poured and poured and poured this morning. Rains of change, we say. Rain brings good things. The mountains are looking greener and visibility today is unbelievable. Poor soldiers though. I hear they got really wet.
Please pray for Salalah and pray this ends peacefully. No more injuries (and yes there have been injuries). These sit-ins were peaceful for 10 weeks. Completely peaceful. There's no reason to turn violent and bring the whole friggin army down here to 'break it up'. Salalah protests were never a threat to security. They stuck to the same parking lots for 10 weeks, and life was not disrupted. Bringing all these security forces to intimidate them was a bad move as far as I'm concerned. Dhofaris are hot-blooded, proud, and don't appreciate being intimidated. Remember this is my personal opinion only. I have nothing against the army and I believe the protests should have ended but not in such an aggressive manner.