French president lands in Congo after Senegal stop

By the Associated Press | October 13, 2012 | 2:34 AM EDT

French President Francois Hollande, right, and Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall walk past an honor guard as Hollande arrives at the airport in Dakar, Senegal, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. Hollande was on a one-day visit to Senegal Friday, en route to Kinshasa, Congo for the Francophonie Summit. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — France's president has landed in the Congolese capital as part of Francois Hollande's first trip to the African continent since taking office earlier this year.

Hollande arrived Saturday and will be taking part in the Francophonie summit and is also expected to meet with President Joseph Kabila as well as with the opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Hollande said earlier this week that "the situation (in Congo) is absolutely unacceptable in terms of human rights, democracy and the respect of the opposition", provoking Kinshasa's outrage.

The spokesperson for the Congolese government, Lambert Mende, says that it is for the Congolese people to accept or reject the situation in their own country and not for France to give lessons.

Hollande's visit to Congo comes after a first stop in Senegal, where he was applauded for his tone and message.