Ben Affleck Turns Time Journalist For Piece On Embattled Congo

Ben Affleck has traded acting for journalism, penning an article on conflict in Congo for Time magazine.

The "He's Just Not That Into You" star, who took "Nightline" on a trip to the embattled region last year, wrote the article to draw even more light to the troubled African area.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Latest Star Sightings

"I've been traveling to Congo since 2007 to learn. Time has agreed to publish my amateur journalism on the merits of this urgent crisis," Affleck wrote.

In his near 1,000-word essay, Affleck shared what he learned about the conflicted area.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Sitting Down With The 'He's Just Not That Into You' Cast

"The warring parties in the east can be distilled into three main groups: the Congolese army; a breakaway faction composed mainly of Tutsis, led by a former general, Laurent Nkunda; and an outlaw militia, the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), led by the same Interahamwe Hutu extremists who committed the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighboring Rwanda.

Of late, most of the world's focus has been on the fighting between President Laurent Kabila's army and Nkunda's forces. When I met Nkunda, he made a compelling case for his rebellion, framing it as opposition to Kinshasa's cooperation with the génocidaires of the FDLR and offering a moving history of the persecution of the Tutsi. But like many militia leaders, Nkunda and his men have been accused of war crimes. I met a number of child soldiers who served in his militias, and his soldiers have been accused of participating in massacres in the villages of Bukavu and Kiwanga.

For its part, the FDLR has been present in eastern Congo for more than 14 years. Its members have committed many massacres of Tutsi civilians and have exploited the rich mineral resources of the region. The FDLR subjugates people either by rape (often performed in groups—and on people of either gender) or with the AK-47, a weapon so ubiquitous that it has picked up a tragic moniker: the Congolese credit card. Mary, the scarred woman in the center of the photo collage on the next two pages, told me that FDLR men raped her, set her house on fire and left her to die. She survived. Her 2-year-old daughter did not.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner

In interviews with Congolese civilians living under FDLR control, I consistently heard one thing: they wanted the génocidaires out. But many believe the only lasting solution will be a military one—and no Western nation has shown much interest in shipping troops to central Africa.

It is Africans themselves who are finding a way forward," Affleck wrote in his piece.

According to Radar Online, Affleck will take part in a Congo fundraiser at the Los Angeles House of Blues on Tuesday. The event will raise money for International Medical Corps, which provides health-care to women and children in Congo and other areas.

For more of Afflekc's essay, visit

Related Content from
PLAY IT NOW: Access Archives: Ben Affleck
PLAY IT NOW: Ben Affleck Is Back

MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: Ben Affleck - Politics - News - Charities

Copyright NBCAH - Access Hollywood
Contact Us