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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 NARCO hits just keep coming. Back on 28 June 2018, NARCO wrote, "[Recently fired DGSN Abdelghani] Hamel is being succeeded by Col. Lakhdar “Mustapha” el Habiri...While he is well-liked and considered to be an accessible and humble man of action, he is also likely a stopgap.” After eight months on job, on 13 February 2019, el Habiri was removed from his post as Head of National Security (DGSN)...

Back in the saddle again. With the exception of Libya (which remains unchanged), the political trajectory in North Africa is becoming clearer, especially in Algeria and Mauritania. To the extent that the security environment is evolving, it’s at the margins, with no major deltas on the horizon. And apart from Mauritania, where it’s relatively smooth sailing, the oil outlook is in a state of suspended animation.

NARCO doesn’t usually take victory laps, not because its analysis isn’t usually right, but because it’s unbecoming. However, a tweet on 29 January by Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham, Minister of Communication and Relations with the Parliament, announcing that current Minister of Defense Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani will be the UPR’s presidential candidate is precisely what NARCO anticipated 12 days ago.

On 15 January, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz sent a letter to his party’s parliamentary bloc telling them to cease any efforts to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term, seemingly paving the way for a peaceful presidential transition. But things are not as they seem.