By Suntou Touray
Kibaaro News has confirmed the death of the man who led the Gambia’s 1981 failed coup attempt. Kukoi Samba Sanyang died in the Malian capital Bamako two hours ago, a dependable source told Kibaaro News.
Mr. Sanyang had recently dominated news headlines after he was expelled from Senegal after efforts to extradite him had boomeranged.
“Kukoi’s death is confirmed,” our source who received a call from Mali told Kibaaro News. “He hasn’t been very well,” he said, adding that the death followed the former rebel leader’s long battle with an unknown illness.
Since he fled the Gambia after unleashing his efforts to dislodge former President Dawda Jawara from power had failed, Kukoi has been residing in many African countries. He using different names in different countries.
Mr Sanyang, one of the Gambia’s most controversial and elusive characters, led the 12-man rebel group to wreak havoc on the Gambia in July 1981. The coup led to the massive loss of life and property. An estimated 1,500 people died in the failed coup which culminated in the intervention of Senegalese forces who flushed out Kukoi and his men. This left Kukoi with the only option of fleeing into safety.