Protest that began last week in Mali has spiraled into Saturday with protester demanding the exit of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Several people were injured on Friday after protests trun violent, prompting the president to speak out.

Keita said in a statement that he regretted the “human and material losses” after protesters looted the parliament building and occupied the state broadcaster ORTM causing it to go off air for several hours.

Discontent with Keita, 75, has simmered for months over his failure to address a security crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and tension over a March parliamentary vote. Protesters, known as the M5 movement, are calling for political and judicial reforms or for Keita to step down.

Keita, who was re-elected in 2018, said Friday that he was prepared to continue talks with the protesters and to do “everything in his power” to solve the country’s political crisis.

But protesters defiled his appeal and went on to occupy the streets on Saturday

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