Ben Affleck

George Pimentel/

Ben Affleck's latest small-screen appearance is unlikely to turn viral, but he hopes it will generate just as much publicity as his Jimmy Kimmel-kissing last one.

The actor-turned-activist, who in May returned from his third trip to the Congo in the past eight months, will appear in a special documentary on tonight's edition of Nightline to shed more of a global light on the often overlooked, yet terribly devastated, region.

"It makes sense to be skeptical about celebrity activism," Affleck wrote in an online essay about his trip. "There is always suspicion that involvement with a cause may be doing more good for the spokesman than he or she is doing for the cause."

Affleck, however, urges viewers to look past whatever they may think of his affiliation with the project and simply allow themselves to become aware of the nation's plight.

"More than 4 million people have died in conflict and conflict-related causes," the 35-year-old said on Good Morning America. "My suspicion is not as many people are aware of that as probably ought to be and if they were then they'd probably think of it differently.

"Part of these trips for me have been about a learning experience. I didn't think I could honestly do anything until I understood."

During his trips, Affleck met with people on all sides of the conflict, visiting camps for people displaced from their homes, hospitals, gold mines, United Nations "sensitizing" centers, which aim to reeducate particularly vicious members of the militia, and talking to aid workers, child warriors and warlords.

"I don't think it's an intractable problem," he told GMA. "It's largely ignored in some sectors...certainly in the West it's a lower priority than other issues."

The goal for Affleck, however, is not to simply bump Congo's troubles to the top of America's fix-it list but to "create a broader sense of solidarity with people in this country."

"I do not believe that we live in boxes, separated from one another by imagined boundaries," he wrote. "Congo is a place that deserves, at the very least, our eyes and ears."

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