NARCO ANALYSIS: Ghazouani's Big Khaima


Having been in office for a little more than a year, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani is reshaping the Mauritanian political milieu. Unlike his predecessor, who kept close the reins of power and his clique closer, President Ghazouani appears to be building a big new tent.

NARCO ANALYSIS: US SecDef Visits Algeria


US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will visit Algeria on 1 October 2020. The visit comes as something of a surprise to the analyst community, but more importantly to the Algerians themselves. It is not at all clear what Esper wants and why he is going.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Libya Oil Restart Doubtful


Libya oil watchers are all a tizzy. A possible deal brokered between the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteig and the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) leader General Khalifa Haftar could mean that Libyan oil production will resume.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Mauritania Corruption Update


A year and change into his first five-year presidential term and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani is finally doing what everyone had hoped he would – aggressively address his predecessor’s alleged corruption. Some quarters of Nouakchott (and Nouadhibou) are getting jitterier by the day.

NARCO Algeria RoundUp


NARCO is rolling out a new approach to its monthly RoundUp. Instead of one issue with three countries, issues will be divided by country, which allows for more timely RoundUps and more actionable insights for NARCO’s clients. (Too often, RoundUps were overtaken by events that are moving very quickly throughout the region.)

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Nouakchott Shake-up


As NARCO told its clients in private last week, there was a very high likelihood that Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani would shuffle his cabinet. Following the release of the Parliamentary Enquiry Committee’s (CEP) report into financial mismanagement and corruption during his predecessor's two administrations, President Ghazouani needed to take decisive action that would clearly show that his administration was different.

NARCO ANALYSIS: A Political Crisis in Mauritania


In an effort to distinguish his administration from that of his predecessor, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani sanctioned the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate Mauritania’s financial stewardship during the previous administration. But the investigation is turning into a political crisis.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algerian Energy Sector Changes


As soon as it was announced that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had replaced Mohamed Arkab at the Ministry of Energy with Abdelmadjid Attar, NARCO did a quick “Attar” search through its files. The search returned two files: a PDF of the original 1998 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) between Amoco and Sonatrach for Tigantourine; and a due diligence NARCO had undertaken for one of its clients.

NARCO ANALYSIS: What Happens in Algeria's South Matters


I’ve never been to Tin Zaouatine in Algeria’s deep south, where a young man was recently killed by Algerian security services. I suspect that most Algerians haven’t been there either. However, what happens in Algeria’s south matters, not just for the south, but for the rest of the country as well.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Droukdel's Death & an Era's End


Man alive. Droukdel is dead. For NARCO, this closes a long chapter. I still remember the day that Abdelmalek Droukdel took over the GSPC in Algeria in 2004.I had no idea back then that I would reckon with Droukdel for another 16 years...



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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