Affleck casts spotlight on situation in Congo

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 1:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Academy award-winner Ben Affleck sees a window of hope in the Congo after years of strife and he's urging Congress not to let the opportunity for progress slip away.

Affleck is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a 4-year-old advocacy organization dedicated to peace and prosperity in the region. The actor and director was meeting with senators and testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Affleck and former Sen. Russell Feingold, the special envoy for the region, spoke about the changes in the former Belgian colony of about 68 million.

Congo is one of the most volatile in Africa with an estimated 5 million people killed since a regional war that began in 1997.

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