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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.

The political dimension of Ibrahim Jadhran’s 14 June 2018 attack on Libya’s Ras Lanuf and El-Sidr oil terminals, which represent over 560kbpd worth of crude exports, is key to foreseeing the future. On the one hand, the young militia leader and former Abu Slim prisoner is trying to capitalize on eastern and central Libyan tribal and political grievances. And, on the other hand, if he sticks to his usual modus operandi, Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Field Marshal General Khalifa Haftar will use brute force to regain the terminals.

May was actually a surprisingly busy month in North Africa despite it coinciding with Ramadan, when things typically slow down. Politics remain fluid in Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania. Security is still a paramount concern in Libya and Mauritania, but Algeria is finally starting to recognize IOC concerns. And speaking of IOCs, Mauritania is starting to bustle, Algeria is getting its act together. And Libya, well, it’s still Libya.

Power in Algeria is opaque. Although individuals’ official positions are known, it is less known how much power they actually have and how decisions are actually taken. Often times, an individual’s power is not reflected in his or her official position. Instead, political power and the ability to take decisions is determined by an individual’s informal network.

To paraphrase Sam Elliott as the Stranger, sometimes there's a man who, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there… and that’s Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, in Algiers. And Ould Kaddour is determined to make Sonatrach great again.