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 ANALYSIS: Algeria Replaces Top Cop (Again)


The NARCO hits just keep coming. Back on 28 June 2018, NARCO wrote, "[Recently fired DGSN Abdelghani] Hamel is being succeeded by Col. Lakhdar “Mustapha” el Habiri...While he is well-liked and considered to be an accessible and humble man of action, he is also likely a stopgap.” After eight months on job, on 13 February 2019, el Habiri was removed from his post as Head of National Security (DGSN)...

NARCO RoundUp (JAN19)


Back in the saddle again. With the exception of Libya (which remains unchanged), the political trajectory in North Africa is becoming clearer, especially in Algeria and Mauritania. To the extent that the security environment is evolving, it’s at the margins, with no major deltas on the horizon. And apart from Mauritania, where it’s relatively smooth sailing, the oil outlook is in a state of suspended animation.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Game On El Ghazouani


NARCO doesn’t usually take victory laps, not because its analysis isn’t usually right, but because it’s unbecoming. However, a tweet on 29 January by Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham, Minister of Communication and Relations with the Parliament, announcing that current Minister of Defense Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani will be the UPR’s presidential candidate is precisely what NARCO anticipated 12 days ago.



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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