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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.

In a communiqué on 8 May, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) explicitly mentioned Mauritania among the countries that it encouraged its members and supporters to attack. Or rather it urged them to attack foreign companies in Mauritania, and especially those perfidious French ones. Most of the communiqué was boilerplate al-Qaeda messaging. Tyrannical regimes. Corrupt corporations. Pillaged resources. Injustice. Fard al-kifâya (فرض الكفاية). Jihad. Yada yada. But the mention of Mauritania was odd and merits further analysis.

Ramadan is fast upon us (رمضان كريم لجميع المسلمين) and things are starting to slow down but haven’t come to a complete halt yet. It’s a season of revival and return: politics is dynamic with Ouyahia hanging on in Algeria, Haftar coming back to Libya, and Mohamed VI to Morocco. The Islamic State is back also, especially in Libya. And so are oil prices, which has ramifications for Algeria and Libya. Morocco not so much.

A couple weeks ago, North Africa Risk Consulting spoke with its most trusted Islamic State source. The source detests the Islamic State with a passion that only someone who's suffered from its atrocities can, but at the same time the source is the most level-headed, least alarmist Islamic State analyst NARCO knows. The subject was Libya and the status of the Islamic State...

In a few weeks’ time, Libya’s civil war will enter its fifth year. A good way to test your understanding of the conflict is by trying to summarize it. If you can’t help but refer to Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar – the military commander based in the country’s eastern half – as the conflict’s central figure, then perhaps you’re merely rehashing canned narratives that even Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Paris themselves stopped peddling months ago.