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Tracking, Documenting, Analyzing


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Tracking, Documenting, Analyzing








Podcast: North Africa – Sahel week in review – Week ending 23 December 2022

This podcast hosted by Arezki Daoud of MEA Risk LLC focuses on some of the most important events in North Africa and the Sahel that we are monitoring as of Friday, 23rd of December 2022. So this is a sort of week in review. This week was dominated by a couple of big events, the first is the political stalemate in Tunisia, and the second is about the collapse of the peace deal that was signed some 7 years ago by the government of Mali and rebel groups in the north. Each of these events are...


Podcast: Energy: Can Algeria and Africa deliver more natural gas to Europe

Winter is near and Europe is facing an energy crisis after Russian attacked Ukraine. The EU and its member-countries have been looking for natural gas everywhere they can but the prospect of replacing Russian gas supplies on short notice will be difficult. Can Algeria and Africa fill the gap? In this podcast, Arezki Daoud argues that a short contribution from Africa will not be possible, but the longer term feels more optimistic. Download the MP3 file here


Food shortages and rising cost of commodities in Tunisia: briefly explained

Arezki Daoud of MEA Risk and The North Africa Journal visits Tunisia this November and is bringing better understanding on the challenges facing the Tunisians in their day-to-day living. Below is the transcript. - Download the MP3 file for on-the-go listening: - View the vlog: Today, I am in the Sidi Bou Said district of the Tunisian capital Tunis, an upper scale neighborhood dotted with beautiful villas overlooking the Mediterranean. It takes about 50 minutes to reach Tunis from Rome, and...


Russia’s War on Ukraine: North African Nations’ Positions

The Maghreb’s biggest nations and regional rivals, Algeria, and Morocco, so far have refrained from choosing a side in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. For its part, Tunisia has had ambivalent positions due to a number of factors, which we will cover in a moment. In general, though, these nations have had no intention on openly support one or the other party in the conflict and have assumed some neutrality based on multiple geopolitical factors. Broadly speaking and setting aside Ukraine as a...


Algeria-Russia: Deconstructing Algeria’s relationship with Russia: Not as rosy as you think

The visit of President Emmanuel Macron to Algiers at the end of August shook up and challenged the Algerian authorities in their once again excellent relations with Russia. The French security and ministerial deployment that accompanied the trip of the French president and the most recent visit of a delegation of 16 French ministers to Algiers, was intended to solicit Algerian help to stop the Russian advance in the Sahel and West Africa and its deployment in Mali. And that’s how competition...


Algeria-Morocco rivalry intensifies, with no end in sight

The escalating rivalry between Algeria and Morocco has had a destabilizing effect on the Maghreb region of North Africa. In fact, the entire western Mediterranean region is feeling the impact of the two countries’ strange competitive postures. Instead of cooperating to improve the living standards of their populations, the two countries have created a toxic environment in the Mediterranean allowing human smuggling, illegal emigration and drug trafficking to overwhelm parts of southern...


Podcast: Lebanon Falling

The past months have been particularly horrendous for Lebanon, a country that used to be called the Switzerland of the Arab World. The demise of Lebanon is not only a reflection of a deeply corrupt regime and a divided nation, but it is also synonymous of an Arab world where its leaders have no concept of solidarity. In this 8-minute podcast, Arezki shares his views on the current turmoil facing Lebanon.


Sahel: Burkina Faso’s security environment to worsen as Jihadi attacks likely to intensify

The Sahelian nation of Burkina Faso has been a powder keg for some time and this weekend, the coup leader that toppled the previous government has been himself toppled by another coup. The situation in Burkina’s capital, Ouagadougou, has been extremely tense lately, with protesters attempting to raid the French embassy there, as France remains highly unpopular due to its policies in its former colonies. On Friday, 30th of September 2022, the security crisis in Burkina Faso spiraled out of...


Podcast: Sahel in Turmoil and how Bamako and Paris lost Mali

The year 2021 was a horrendous period for the region. All the problems that one can imagine were there, from the massacre of civilians to two military coups in Mali and of course, an aggressive expansion of the jihadist groups. Early last year saw the massacre of more than 100 people in two villages of northwestern Niger, in an area bordering Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The targeting of civilians is now so intense that more civilians were killed than soldiers. Between January and November...


Understanding Tunisia’s political crisis in ten minutes

There has been unusual interest in the west about the political crisis engulfing Tunisia this week. Naturally Tunisia was always seen the cradle of the Jasmin Revolution, and the nation that showed the best prospect of democratization. But this week, the president froze the parliament for one month and dismissed the prime minister, moves that were greeted with great jubilation by a large swath of the Tunisian population, but also seen by many, including some foreign observers as steps to...


How governments in northern Africa are left with only repression as they are unable to govern

This week (ending 21 January 2021), Tunisia made the front pages of global media with Tunisians clashing with security forces over the past days to complain about their living conditions. The riots, which are still underway, have been taking place in several regions, concentrating largely on disadvantaged areas and neighborhoods. In Morocco, the detention of thousands of suspects awaiting trial is clear evidence of a regime that has no interest in upholding its human rights obligations. In...


Podcast: Tunisia faces chaotic situation, as economic woes could derail political progress

Tunisia is a boiling cauldron. It is certain that the Covid-19 epidemic is having a drastic impact on the country on many fronts. But the system put in place after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution, which was praised around the world as paving the way for the first democracy in the Arab world, has simply stalled. While the economy is facing unprecedented challenges, the very negative effects of such challenges could bring to power not only the Islamo-conservative movement that already attempted to...


Podcast: NGOs in the Sahel: Operating in an increasingly challenging environment

In this episode, Arezki Daoud discusses with Do Christophe Ouattar of World Neighbors ( how NGOs are operating in the Sahel. Topics include coping with growing insecurity, environment degradation, the impact of Covid-19 on humanitarian affairs and much more.


Podcast: Evolution of the Covid pandemic in the Maghreb as of mid-Nov. 2020

In this brief podcast recorded on 12 November 2020, MEA Risk's Arezki Daoud provides an update on the Coronavirus in the Maghreb region. The state of the Covid-19 epidemic in the Maghreb looks rather bleak as we are reaching the mid-point of November 2020. As in during the Spanish flu pandemic, the Covid-19 virus is back with a vengeance in what could be a second wave. Newspapers in 1919 reported very similar patterns, whereby a second wave in fall and winter turned out to be deadlier than...


Libya: A Fragile Ceasefire: Podcast

In this “In case you missed it” brief, Arezki Daoud of MEA Risk discusses the challenges of the ceasefire in Libya to stick.  Download the episode here.


Podcast: One more election in Algeria and a highly compromised economic outlook

In this episode, Arezki Daoud of MEA Risk LLC and Editor of the North Africa Journal revisits Algeria after the most recent brief review on Egypt. Why Algeria? because the country is bracing for yet another election on 1 November with the government of President Tebboune pushing for a new constitution. This podcast will highlight how much trouble Algeria is facing and how the long-term outlooks feels extremely compromised. 


Podcast: An overstretched Egypt and the seeds of future unrest

In this 20-minute podcast, MEA Risk analyst Arezki Daoud discusses how overstretched Egypt is and what could be the seeds of future unrest. Episode recorded on 21 September 2020.


Podcast: Covid-19 and the crises of Libya, Tunisia and Mali

In this brief podcast recorded on 17 July 2020, MEA Risk analyst Arezki Daoud provides an update on what we are seeing in North Africa and the Sahel. The region is experiencing tumultuous events as the summer evolves. At this stage, it is clear that the fall season is expected to be intense. There were at least five major events and flashpoints that dominated the front pages of the news this week: Covid-19 epidemic The Libyan crisis The Tunisian political crisis The Malian crisis The rising...


Podcast: Algeria braces for new cycle of anti-regime protests

18 June 2020: There have been increasing calls by pro-democracy militants to resume the Hirak anti-regime protest movement in Algeria, a situation that has prompted an intensification of government repression against opposition figures and rights activists. The Algerian regime faces an exceedingly difficult outlook. Not only the country’s economy is beyond repair in light of the current unpractical and unrealistic policies and the collapse of state revenues, but the antiquated methods of...


Morocco and Algeria spending on questionable military hardware as their economy struggles

In this brief opinion piece, MEA Risk's Arezki Daoud looks at the latest announcements on military spending in the Maghreb, a region that is expected to struggle with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 crisis. This brief was recorded on June 4, 2020.