Ex-Army Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Yusuf Gowan dies

Maj. Gen. Yusuf Gowan


  • Retired Major General Yusuf Gowan, former Army Chief of Staff under Idi Amin, has died at 85 in Arua. He succumbed to heart failure after a period of illness. Known for promoting peace in the West Nile region, Gowan will be remembered for his role in unifying ex-combatants and resolving conflicts among soldiers.

ARUA – Retired Major General Yusuf Gowan, the former Army Chief of Staff during the Idi Amin regime, has passed away at the age of 85. Gowan died on Friday, February 2, at Arua Regional Referral Hospital due to heart failure, according to his close relative Sheikh Abdumutalib Kiiza.


Kiiza mentioned that Gowan had been unwell since early last year, experiencing bouts of malaria and frequent hospitalizations. On Thursday, February 1, he was admitted to Arua Regional Referral Hospital, and his health deteriorated leading to his demise.

Describing Gowan as a disciplined and visionary former army officer, Richard Andama Ferua, the former LC5 chairman of the then greater Arua District, highlighted Gowan’s pivotal role in bringing peace to the West Nile region. Ferua noted that Gowan, known for mobilizing combatants during meetings, played a crucial role in coordinating ex-combatants and promoting peace and stability in the area.

Gowan’s contribution to unity was particularly notable during conflicts between Kakwa and Aringa soldiers. He actively worked towards bringing together splinter groups within the Former Uganda National Army (FUNA) and Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF 1) sectors.

Having served under the Idi Amin regime from 1972 to 1979, Gowan fled to exile in Bunia, DR Congo, in 1979 but later returned to Uganda to lead a civilian life until his passing. A resident of Abia Cell, Pangisa Ward, Arua Central Division, Arua city, Gowan, who belonged to the Mijale clan in Lodonga sub county, Yumbe District, will be laid to rest on Saturday at the Muslim Cemetery in Arua city.

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