Monday, December 7, 2009

BBC Radio investigate the 1970 coup of Sultan Qaboos

A fascinating radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Nov 24th, goes into the history of the successful coup of Sultan Qaboos and the role of the British in assisting the Sultan in his efforts.

You can hear the broadcast here.

For the first time, previously secret UK Government documents have been obtained that demonstrate the extent to which Britain played an active role in the planning of the coup, and in preparing to support the Sultan had his initial attempt failed. The British also clearly assisted Sultan Qaboos in communicating his plans with those Omani supporters outside his place of house arrest in Salalah.

Of course, His Majesty's initial attempt at taking over the country did not fail, thank goodness, and no 'contingency plans' were required to be activated. According to the BBC, these contingency plans involved the seconded British Officers who at the time ran the Sultan's Armed Forces[SAF] at the time,. essentially switching the army to support Qaboos, even though in effect they would have been betraying their official leader, HM's father.

Interesting too that the BBC is of course funded by the UK Government. Such is the power of a free press that they are empowered to do a piece like this and publish it...

HM comes out of the investigation with total honour and full legitimacy. His coup was widely seen within Oman, as well as by the British as a very positive thing for pretty much everybody (well, except the Russian/Chinese supported insurgent troups in the south).

And as a westerner living in Oman for some time, its nice to know that the Brits were fully prepared to back the Sultan right from the start. Because he is an exceptional leader.


  1. HM always looks the happiest when he is in a military uniform. And Oman has a military to be proud of.

  2. Interesting, it will be good to read another and official point of view.

    There are no good coups and sadly blood must be shed to make progress and in this aspect Oman is no different. The main thing is today Oman is a modern progressive Arabic state with a united people in full support of HM. Whatever is said, the evidence is there that Omanis have a better life and a good future under his leadership and vision.

    My only concern is that the UK tabloids don't get carried away and exagerate some events!

  3. Abdullah,

    As ex-UK forces (Royal Marines) I fully agree that all the Omani Forces, Army, Navy and Air force are highly professional. There is nothing worse than seeing a man in uniform who doesn't look neat. Of the many parades I've seen in my 5 years in Oman all the servicemen look immaculate and a credit to the country.

  4. UD can you throw more on the story of traffic fines getting transferred to another person. Today ROP Lt. Gen has given a statement "neither denying" such report and has promised strict action.
    It is unthinkable how can one accumulates lots of fine for overspeeding and just push it into somebody else's head. The computer system will definitely leave trails for such wrong doing. But you need experts to find them.

  5. It seems Saudi's have silently caught Iranian nuclear expert and handed him to US.

  6. Justcurious,

    I got a fine for speeding a few months ago when I could prove neither me or my vehicle were in that area at that time! I'm not the only one, a friend was out of the country and his vehicle locked up but was done for speeding!

  7. Hey, as an Omani I think if the the UK did play a roll, then way to go UK! This was certainly a coup to the better.

    Just don't do it again! :p


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