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About North Africa Risk Consulting

North Africa Risk Consulting Inc. is the political risk consultancy specializing exclusively in North Africa & the Sahara. NARCO helps firms navigate Maghreb markets. Ongoing events in North Africa and the Sahara have heightened the need to understand political circumstances, their trajectories and implications for the commercial environment. Learn more about North Africa Risk Consulting.

According to high-level sources inside Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned energy company, its senior leadership knows that Sonatrach’s IOC partners are anxious about what the future holds, and senior leadership is trying to address IOC concerns in a reasoned manner.

NARCO doesn’t do scoops. NARCO doesn’t do hottakes. Instead, NARCO is looking at the bigger picture, the “so what” and the “what next.” So, now that Abdelaziz Bouteflika is no longer Algeria’s president, having been forced out by Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah, what’s next?

Deputy Minister of Defense and Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah dropped a bombshell, urging that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika should be removed from office according to Article 102 of the constitution. This is a major development and it is evidence of (at least) two things: elite fracture and expert level political gamesmanship. And the announcement potentially pushes the demonstrators into a corner.

The demonstrations against the Algerian government that have taken place throughout the country for the last month are being hailed as leaderless, as a genuine expression of the people’s political aspirations. But at risk of sounding stupid (and tautological,) leaderless movements have one really big flaw: they do not have leaders.