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


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


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)


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


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


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


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)


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.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Where Algeria Could Go From Here


Big political developments are happening on a near daily basis in Algeria. There was a holy trinity of arrests, including former head of intelligence Mohamed Mediene, his successor Athmane Tartag, and Said Bouteflika. That same evening, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah gave a speech insisting that the presidential election scheduled for 4 July 2019 will go forward. The high-profile arrests and the president’s insistence of sticking to the constitutionally mandated transition process despite ongoing Hirak demonstrations, all begs the question of where Algeria could go from here.

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 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.

Request More Info