NARCO ANALYSIS: Maghreb Diplomacy Developments


The last year has been flush with furtive diplomacy in the Maghreb. Over the last 10 months, there have been myriad diplomatic developments that are changing (or perhaps merely clarifying) the relationship among Maghreb countries, and between Europe and North Africa. Moroccan and Algerian foreign affairs are the most dynamic they have been in years.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Tunisia Still Stuck


Almost 60 days after Tunisian President Kais Saied suspended parliament for 30 days, the president announced new “exceptional” measures that extend and strengthen his grip on power. Eventually, Saied’s moves are going to boomerang on him, and the country is going to be worse off for it.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Morocco Open for Business...but...


King Mohamed VI appointed businessman and former Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch to form a government. Given his profile (and his wife’s own business interests,) there is no doubt that he wants to introduce policies that will generate strong industrial activity as well as robust consumer spending. But his appointment as prime minister poses some problems.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria Burning


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has faced multiple crises during his 20-month tenure, but the forest fires ravaging Kabylia to the east of the capital may be the worst yet. According to official sources, the fires have killed 37 civilians and 28 military personnel thus far. They come against a backdrop of three ongoing crises in Algeria, political, economic, and health.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Tunisia Troubles


On 25 July, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied fired his prime minister, dismissed his cabinet, and dissolved parliament. He subsequently deployed the military to secure the prime minister’s office and the parliament, and pledged to appoint new interior, defense, and foreign affairs ministers. The president declares that it is a constitutionally permissible house cleaning. His opponents say it’s a coup.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Morocco and the Cookie Jar


The Makhzen has got to be scrambling. Leaked documents implicate Morocco (among other countries) in an enormous cyber espionage offensive, in which Rabat purchased Israeli technology to hack the mobile phones of thousands of journalists, activists, and foreign officials.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: New Algerian Cabinet


One week to the day after he was appointed by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane announced his government. It’s not an awfully remarkable cabinet, but there are some interesting aspects that merit further analysis.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Algeria's New Prime Minister


Algeria has a new prime minister. On 30 June 2021, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune appointed former Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Aymen Benabderrahmane to succeed Abdelaziz Djerad. Benabderrahmane’s appointment was something of a surprise. But only something, because while he was not on anyone’s shortlist, every Algeria analyst knows that the candidate that ultimately gets tapped for the job is never on anyone’s shortlist.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Morocco Getting Impatient


Morocco is increasingly frustrated that the US’s decision to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara has not borne more fruit and faster. In fact, what Rabat saw as a sea change has not produced the ground swell of international support for its territorial ambitions that it had expected.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Back to the Future in Algeria


Algeria’s 12 June legislative election did not turn out the way the President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had intended. Instead of marking the final step in a two-year long political transition, the election resulted in the return of the old Bouteflika-era political parties. President Tebboune’s touted “New Algeria” looks an awful lot like the old pre-Hirak Algeria.



NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

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