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Affleck calls for stronger US leadership in Congo

Sen. John Kerry D-Mass.,  shakes hands with actor Ben Affleck during a meeting with foreign relations members to discus the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. With them is Sen. Richard Lugar R-IN., right. (Jose Magana / Fr159526 Ap)
Sen. John Kerry D-Mass., shakes hands with actor Ben Affleck during a meeting with foreign relations members to discus the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. With them is Sen. Richard Lugar R-IN., right. (Jose Magana / Fr159526 Ap)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Actor-director Ben Affleck says a desperate humanitarian situation in Congo requires a stronger display of U.S. leadership.

The “Argo” star told a House committee in Washington on Wednesday that he has visited the region regularly in recent years, seeing both the effects of violence and the potential of the African country. Affleck founded the East Congo Initiative in 2010, a nonprofit organization that helps direct aid to the war-torn region.

Affleck says that, without more U.S. leadership, Congo will continue in a cycle of violence that has dogged it for years.

State Department officials have described the situation in Congo as the most volatile in Africa. Approximately 5 million people have been killed since a second regional war began there in 1997.



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