Ben Affleck Asks Congress For Stronger Leadership In Congo
On Wednesday, Ben Affleck testified before Congress about the ongoing violence in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. For years the actor/filmmaker has been working to raise awareness of the situation in the Central African nation.
Affleck has called on the House Armed Services Committee to use its influence in global politics and with the United Nations to help the troubled country.
He branded the battle for control of the Congo "the deadliest conflict since World War II" and stated, "I am not here to ask for precious American tax dollars, I am here today to respectfully request you use the most important power you have, your collective voice as representatives of the United States of America...
"It is clear to me that the pursuit of durable peace in Congo is not hopeless, quite the contrary, in fact. The solutions are not new, or particularly complex. But without persistent, high-level leadership by the United States, the key players will not come to the table and do their part...
"For 15 years, the United Nations has run a peacekeeping mission in Congo. The time has come to fundamentally reconsider the scope of its mandate."
He added, "Every day, I am inspired by the resilience and determination of the Congolese, who desperately want to live their lives in peace, earn a decent living, and raise their families just like the rest of us."
According to the Los Angeles Times, Affleck is planning to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo again in February. He has visited the country multiple times and established a charitable foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiatve, in 2010 to help women and children affected by rape and sexual violence.
Affleck recently directed and starred in the critically acclaimed "Argo" about a CIA agent who creates a fake Hollywood film production in order to rescue a group of American diplomats holed up in Iran during the nation's revolution in 1979.