Ben Affleck Testifies Before U.S. Congress

click image to enlarge
December 19, 2012 | 9:01pm EST

Actor and activist Ben Affleck appeared before Congress on Wednesday to testify about the ongoing violence in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Argo star has long been working to raise awareness about the situation in the Central African nation, and he headed to Washington, D.C. to callon the House Armed Services Committee to use its influence in global politics and with the United Nations to do what it can to help the troubled country.
He branded the battle for control of the Congo “the deadliest conflict since World War II” and told the politicians, “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.”
Affleck went on to express his hopes for a peaceful future for the nation, stating, “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.”
During the testimony, Affleck also revealed he was planning to visit to the embattled country once again in February, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The actor/director has made multiple research trips there and established his own charitable foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiative, in 2010 to help women and children affected by rape and sexual violence.