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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.

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July was topsy-turvy in North Africa with changes all around. Whether those changes amount to anything or they simply mark time is another question entirely. In Algeria, the security services were extensively overhauled. In Libya, more of the same: no political process; terrorism; spikey oil production. In Mauritania, Ould Abdelaziz’s term is coming to an end, the security situation is more dire, and oil activity is ramping up.

What matters and what doesn’t in Algeria is often hard to discern. This is as true of Tuesday’s unexpected firing of DGSN Abdelghani Hamel as it is of other big news coming out of Algiers. The police chief had been in the seat for eight years (after the murder of his predecessor Ali Tounsi) and had become increasingly politically powerful and popular, so much so that North Africa Risk Consulting had him on its shortlist of potential presidential successors.

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.