Analysis

NARCO ANALYSIS: Good Cop/Bad Cop and Br’er Rabbit in Algeria

2019/09/04

It’s rentrée and the chattering classes are chattering in Algeria – mostly about Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah’s 2 September statement that he would like the government to organize elections for a permanent government as quickly as possible. President Abdelkader Bensalah could convene Algeria’s constitutional council on 15 September to initiate the electoral process,

NARCO ANALYSIS: Ghazouani's Not So Goldilocks Government

2019/08/14

Nouakchott is abuzz. Ismail Bedda Ould Chiekh Sidiya, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani’s prime minister, has announced his government and it’s not what Goldilocks would’ve wanted. It’s too technocratic. It’s too politicized. It’s too Bidane. It’s too maraboutic. It’s too new. It’s too old.

NARCO RoundUp (JUL19)

2019/08/08

As Bradley says, summertime and the living’s easy. Algeria is transitioning – from what to what is a little unclear. The wheels aren’t coming off, though, and that’s a good thing. Mauritania is going gangbusters – a successful presidential succession, a solid security environment, and investment on the rise. Libya, on the other hand, is in a tailspin: a full-blown political crisis, outright war, and a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

NARCO ANALYSIS: US Think Tank Survey Distorts Political Attitudes of Algeria’s Military

2019/07/23

The Brookings Institute, a Washington, DC think tank, recently published a study by three American researchers entitled “Algeria’s Uprising: A Survey of Protestors and the Military.” The study purports to survey and analyze protestors’ and Algerian military personnel’s attitudes about Algeria’s current political circumstances and future political developments. In particular, the survey claims to analyze active duty military personnel’s opinions about Army Chief of Staff Major General Ahmed Gaid Salah and his role in Algeria’s pre-electoral period.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria Fieldnotes

2019/07/22

NARCO doesn’t often publish raw fieldnotes, but given how much recent analysis of what is happening in Algeria – especially in regard to the populist political movement known as Hirak – is gleaned from social media (scraping Twitter feeds and Facebook posts), I thought it would be a refreshing intervention to share my notes from observing the latest Hirak demonstration in Algiers last Friday (19 July.)

NARCO RoundUp (JUN19)

2019/07/11

Travel and national holidays pushed back delivery of the June NARCO RoundUp, but better late than never. Algeria is in a surprisingly mature political transition – inching carefully forward one week at a time. Libya is still at war, which is becoming increasingly costly and threatening more and more lives directly and indirectly. And Mauritania is surprisingly dynamic, having orchestrated a largely peaceful largely democratic transition and having sidestepped the hydrocarbons sector corruption issues currently plaguing its southern neighbor.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Mauritania Unrest

2019/06/26

Following Mauritania’s 22 June presidential election and Mohamed Ould Ghazouani’s 23 June victory speech, Nouakchott and other cities have witnessed sporadic unrest, with opposition groups rejecting the election results. There is allegedly a large opposition demonstration planned for 27 June in Nouakchott...

NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritania Goes to the Polls

2019/06/20

On 22 June, some Mauritanians will go to the polls to elect a new president. There is not much suspense: current Minister of Defense and former Army Chief of Staff Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani will very likely win...

NARCO ANALYSIS: Another and Another in Algeria

2019/06/14

Another Friday demonstration. Another Tuesday student protest. An oligarch arrested. And another. A former prime minister arrested. And another. And another arrest. And another. A website blocked. And another. Another public statement from the president or Army Chief of Staff that muddies more than it clarifies. A self-pitying op-ed plumbing the depths of how far Algeria has sunk from the ideals of the Statement of 1 November 1954. And another. Woe unto Algeria.

NARCO RoundUp (MAY19)

2019/05/31

Eid Mubarak! Rather than being the typically quiet Holy Month, North Africa was abuzz. Algerian demonstrators kept the pressure on the government, Libya’s civil war intensified, and Mauritania is making final elections preparations. On the hydrocarbons front, Mauritania is the most optimistic story, with Algeria facing a commercial crisis (entirely not of its own making), and Libya’s NOC is under acute threat.

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NARCO CLOSEHOLD

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