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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

 3:30 PM 

Feingold joins Affleck for Senate testimony on DRC

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold was in Washington today to testify with actor Ben Affleck before a Senate panel about ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Feingold, who was named last summer as the State Department's special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region, said prior to his appearance in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "we are making some progress" in the country, which has been embroiled in violence since the outbreak of war in 1997.

He also thanked Secretary of State John Kerry for his involvement with the DRC during a brief appearance with Affleck and the secretary, saying that "it makes a huge difference when the secretary, obviously, calls people."

"Your willingness to be involved with this every step of the way has made a huge difference," Feingold said. "Each time you’ve given me an additional thing to get done with good guidance and always willing to make the calls that need to be made."

Affleck, who founded the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010 in an effort to advocate for and bolster community funding in the DRC, thanked Kerry for the department's focus on the country and for the appointment of Feingold, who he called "an extraordinary man of great influence."


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