Ben Affleck calls on U.S. to help resolve Congo conflict
UPI News Service, 11/26/2012
Ben Affleck says the United States can do "a huge amount" to help resolve the violent conflict in war-torn Congo.
The "Argo" star-filmmaker and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative appeared on ABC News' "This Week" Sunday and urged the U.S. government to do more in the African region where rebels seized control of the eastern city of Goma last week.
"There's a huge amount that the U.S. can do, frankly. I mean, we have a lot of levers there. We can engage in the kind of high-level, shuttle diplomacy that you saw be so effective in Gaza," said Affleck, who expressed concern about the deteriorating conditions in the African nation.
"One of the things we're hearing from our people there is that the schools that we fund, people are hiding out in. The hospitals are completely overwhelmed. They're offering free care for war victims. A shell just hit a camp and paralyzed a 5-year-old boy from the neck down. So you're hearing all kinds of -- the kinds of brutal, terrible stuff that you hear about," Affleck said.
He also praised the Congolese people for their "resilience" and added American foreign policy should represent our values.
"The amazing thing about the Congolese people is their degree of resilience and that they've been through this kind of stuff in the past. And, so, they're still dedicated and working hard, and we've seen our schools still open, hospitals, and so on," Affleck said. "I think our actions in foreign policy -- and maybe I am naive -- you know, represent our values and represent who we are. And if any American were to go to that country and stand and see what was happening there, they would insist that we do what we could."
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