Business Day: No use ignoring diaspora in Africa itself. Until recently, it was fashionable in official circles to decry the brain drain, to criticise those who left and call for financial reparations from countries “poaching” African skills. That changed a few years ago when the African Union (AU) renamed emigrants living abroad as a “diaspora” and called on African governments to stop criticising and to start engaging with their diasporas. (Jonathan Crush)
NY Times: U.S. Human Rights Report Cites Bright Spots, but Also Points to Abuses. After an “especially tumultuous and momentous year” for human rights, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Thursday, the challenge in many Arab countries has shifted from breaking the back of entrenched dictatorships to protecting new freedom during the often chaotic and sometimes violent transitions that follow. (Brian Knowlton)
BBC: Somali al-Shabab militant stronghold Afgoye ‘captured.’ African Union (AU) forces in Somalia say they have captured the strategic town near the capital, Mogadishu, after Islamist militants pulled out. Afgoye was a major stronghold of the al-Shabab group, giving their fighters easy access to the capital.
BBC: Burkina Faso-Mali clashes leave 25 dead. At least 25 people have been killed in days of ethnic clashes over land rights along the Burkina Faso-Mali border, local officials say.