NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Sonatrach Shuffle


It was a good run. In fact, the longest run in more than a decade. But all good things must come to an end. Especially when networks become too entrenched and there’s an election on the horizon.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria & Niger


One of the nice things about Algeria analysis is that it resists hot takes. Things don’t happen quickly in Algeria. In part, this is because of Algeria’s laborious consensus-based decision-making process and in part because Algeria genuinely does carefully consider foreign policy positions.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria's Foreign Policy Five Pillars


Russia’s Ukraine invasion and the concomitant European energy crisis, instability in Libya, Tunisia’s limbo, and the Sahel’s dysfunction have all focused international attention on Algeria. Could it be the ball’s belle? But what underpins Algeria’s foreign policy? With whom does it engage and why?

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria Russia France


Two days after it was announced that Algerian President Tebboune would make a state visit to France in May, there are reports in French media that the trip has been postponed. Algerian officials are mum. Mais n’importe quoi. The significance of the announcement remains.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Morocco Succession Planning


King Mohammed VI is back in Morocco to observe the Holy Month of Ramadan after having spent the last five weeks in seclusion in Gabon.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritania Terrorists' Prison Break


Per the Mauritanian Ministry of Interior, the evening of 5 March, Mauritania suffered its first “terrorist attack” in 12 years. Four prisoners linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) escaped the Central Prison in Nouakchott late Sunday evening.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Tunisia Turns Toward the Worst


Tunisia’s economic circumstances were cataclysmic. President Kais Saied had eviscerated state institutions and gutted civil society. He had consolidated all control in the presidency, adopting an authoritarian “l'État, c'est moi” attitude.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Something's Up and Going Down in Algeria


President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is pissed. He’s in the home stretch of his first presidential term and things are not going as smoothly as he wants. Something’s up in Algeria and something’s going down.



Some Algerian decisionmakers recognize that current circumstances present Algeria with unprecedented opportunities. In order to seize those opportunities, it needs to dispel the fantasies and fears that persist about Algeria and show that it is in many ways a normal country.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Tunisia's Commercial Calamity


So, the legislative elections orchestrated by President Kais Saied on 17 December were a bust. 8% participation rate. Near total rejection of Saied’s power grab. No big surprise.But parallel to Tunisia’s descent into the political morass is an unfolding commercial calamity. Tunisia’s foreign direct investment is slowing to a trickle and is even showing signs of reversing.



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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