Somalia: UN Dispatch asks whether the UN will enter into dialogue with al Shabab.
In potential talks with rebels in the south-central region, [UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mark] Bowden and his team will be negotiating for aid agencies based in those safer communities to be able to cross more freely into rebel-controlled territory. The success of such talks may hinge on whether the UN chooses to argue from the Western point of view, championing humanitarian access for the moral imperative of human rights, or from the Somali point of view, championing access for aid to repair traditional structures regardless of political orientation.
Burkina Faso: Peter Casier writes about desertification in northern Burkina Faso.
Nigeria: News that Nigeria will charge former Vice President Dick Cheney with corruption elicited reactions around the blogosphere. See Dionne Searcey (Wall Street Journal), Nigerian Curiosity, Juan Cole, and a roundup from Loomnie.
Sudan: Roving Bandit calls out The Economist for “using made-up poverty stats.”
North Africa: Dipnote (US State Department) writes about the North African Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO).
Finally, what percentage of the US federal budget goes to foreign aid?
Al Jazeera English on pro-secession activism and voter registration in Southern Sudan: