NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritania at Last?


A question that has flummoxed Sahel watchers for the last decade was “Why not Mauritania?” As violence and instability increased throughout the Sahel from Chad and Sudan to Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania was sitting pretty.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria Developments vis-à-vis Ukraine & Russia


Circumstances around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are simultaneously evolving very quickly and yet not as quickly as some had anticipated. One of the big concerns – which North Africa Risk Consulting raised in a 2 February note is that the conflict will disrupt Russian natural gas supplies to the European Union, raising the possibility that Algeria could become an alternative supplier. While a Russian gas cut has yet to happen, the Russian energy sector is collapsing before our eyes.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Risk Returns to Libya


Over the last decade, Libya has gone through risky periods and less risky periods. But not riskier or less risky in the conventional sense. Rather, risky in the sense of simply not knowing what was going to happen. It is once again not at all clear what is going to happen in Libya.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria's Moment


The unrelated crises in Ukraine and Mali afford Algeria the opportunity to play the role on the international stage to which it always aspires – stability’s non-violent, impartial broker.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Algerian Equilibrium


In Algeria, power’s constant contestation causes an uneasy equilibrium. There is a ceaseless push and pull. There is no definitive décideur. Everyone is a would-be contender to the title, a pretender to the throne, but their power is fleeting and their impact even more so.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Libya Lurching


Libya's upcoming elections are a political exercise that will once again reshape the country’s leadership landscape, but they will in no way reinforce the legitimacy of Libya’s political leadership. The country will remain fractured, perhaps becoming more than it already is, and the prospect for political violence is very high.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Three Thoughts from Algiers


Last week, I traveled to Algiers for the first time in two years, and only two months after Algeria re-opened its borders. Below are three thoughts from the visit. The analysis is a departure from typical North Africa Risk Consulting products. It is more "fieldnotes" than formal political risk analysis.

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 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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