Former Army Chief of Staff in the Idi Amin regime, Retired Major General Yusuf Gowan, breathed his last on Friday, February 2, at the age of 85, at Arua Regional Referral Hospital.
Gowan succumbed to heart failure, as confirmed by Sheikh Abdumutalib Kiiza, a close relative of the deceased. Kiiza shared that Gowan had been unwell for a while, facing health challenges since early last year. Recent battles with malaria and repeated hospitalizations ultimately led to his heart failure.
On Thursday, February 1, Gowan was admitted to Arua Regional Referral Hospital, where his health further deteriorated.
Richard Andama Ferua, the former LC5 chairman of the then greater Arua District, praised Gowan as a disciplined former army officer who played a crucial role in establishing peace in the West Nile region. Ferua noted Gowan’s discipline, vision, and organizational skills, emphasizing his contribution to securing peace in the region.
Ferua highlighted Gowan’s role in mobilizing combatants during meetings, emphasizing his commitment to promoting peace and stability in West Nile. The former LC5 chairman expressed deep sorrow at Gowan’s passing, acknowledging the significant void left by his absence.
Retired Major General Gowan played a unifying role during conflicts within the army, particularly between Kakwa and Aringa soldiers. Ferua explained that Gowan worked tirelessly to bring together splinter groups, particularly in the Former Uganda National Army (FUNA) and Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF 1) sectors.
Serving the Idi Amin regime from 1972 to 1979, Gowan reportedly fled to exile in Bunia, DR Congo, in 1979. He later returned to Uganda, leading a civilian life until his demise.
Hailing from the Mijale clan in Lodonga sub-county, Yumbe District, Gowan resided in Abia Cell, Pangisa Ward, Arua Central Division, Arua city.
The late Major General Yusuf Gowan is set to be laid to rest on Saturday at the Muslim Cemetery in Arua city. His passing marks the end of a chapter in the history of a man who played a significant role during a tumultuous period in Uganda.