NARCO RoundUp (APR19)


There is a lot going on in North Africa: Algeria is in the midst of a profound political transition, Libya is at war with itself, and Mauritania is preparing for the first democratic transition of presidential power in the country’s post-independence history. With the exception of the war in Libya, the security outlook is neutral. And with the exception of Mauritania, the hydrocarbons outlook is negative.



Here we go again. Sonatrach has a new CEO. Two years and one month after he was appointed, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour was dismissed as Sonatrach’s CEO and was replaced by Rachid Hachichi.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria's Sonatrach Sensitive to IOC Concerns


According to high-level sources inside Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned energy company, its senior leadership knows that Sonatrach’s IOC partners are anxious about what the future holds, and senior leadership is trying to address IOC concerns in a reasoned manner.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: What's Next for Algeria


NARCO doesn’t do scoops. NARCO doesn’t do hottakes. Instead, NARCO is looking at the bigger picture, the “so what” and the “what next.” So, now that Abdelaziz Bouteflika is no longer Algeria’s president, having been forced out by Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah, what’s next?



Deputy Minister of Defense and Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah dropped a bombshell, urging that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika should be removed from office according to Article 102 of the constitution. This is a major development and it is evidence of (at least) two things: elite fracture and expert level political gamesmanship. And the announcement potentially pushes the demonstrators into a corner.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Leaderless in Algeria


The demonstrations against the Algerian government that have taken place throughout the country for the last month are being hailed as leaderless, as a genuine expression of the people’s political aspirations. But at risk of sounding stupid (and tautological,) leaderless movements have one really big flaw: they do not have leaders.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Bouteflika's out, but...


After three weeks of demonstrations throughout the country and some embryonic strikes this week that threatened to worsen and even cut off hydrocarbons production, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is finally out.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: The Second People's Democratic Republic of Algeria


Everyone’s nervous and excited – 20 years, 20 years. And no one knows what to expect except that everyone knows that something is going to happen and it’s going to happen soon. Whatever that is, the consensus is that it will be historic.













NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Algeria Pressure Relief Valve


Algerians took to the streets by the tens of thousands over the weekend to protest a potential fifth term by incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who will run for re-election in April. Protests took place throughout the country, including Tlemcen, Oran, Constantine, Tizi Ouzou, Setif, In Salah, and most importantly, Algiers itself, where protests are officially illegal.



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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