NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritanian Ace


Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould el Ghazouani has one heck of an ace up his billowy blue دراعة sleeve (please, oh please, don’t call it a “boubou.”) The parliamentary committee investigating financial misdeeds during his predecessor’s tenure completed its report in August 2020. It was nothing short of devastating for former President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. But since then, nothing.



Arguably, it’s always been tense in some parts of Tunisia ever since populist protests toppled former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. The (sometimes) violent demonstrations that rocked Tunisia in the last couple of days are different, though, because it wasn’t only the residents of Tunisia’s hapless, forgotten corners that spoke out, but demonstrators roiled the streets throughout the country.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Tebboune Back to Germany


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is back in Germany after a brief visit to Algeria to carry out the duties of his office. His work in Algeria done, Tebboune returned to Germany. He is reportedly only to stay for a couple of days, but a couple of days can mean any number of things in Algeria.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Morocco Bombshell


It’s a little (okay, very) cheeky, but I’ll kick off this analysis quoting the very last sentence from NARCO’s 18 November 2020 analysis: “And I haven’t even gotten to Western Sahara…” Well, I’ll get to it now.

NARCO ANALYSIS: What in the World Is Going On in Algeria


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday. In a hospital. In Berlin. Where he has been for three weeks, laid low by COVID-19.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria's Mounting Problems


Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has left Algeria and gone to Germany for medical treatment after having first been admitted to the Aïn Naadja Military Hospital. Although there is no official statement, it is rumored that President Tebboune has contracted the COVID-19 virus. It is also known that President Tebboune has underlying comorbidities – namely, he is chain-smoker.

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 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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