The Ashanti Confederacy was a major Akan kingdom in West Africa and within the Gold Coast. The Fante were a related Akan group that was based mainly along the coastal regions of the Gold Coast. Rivalry between the Ashanti and Fante had long existed, historically, the Fante being considered a breakaway group of the original Akan clan, but by the beginning of the 19th century, this rivalry had escalated to hostility. At the time, the British were the traditional European allies of the Fante, whereas the Dutch sided with the Ashanti.
The war began when the Ashanti king, known as the Asantehene, brought charges of robbing graves on a number of Fante subjects from the town of Assin. Fleeing Ashanti lands, these accused people were granted refuge by the Fante. Ashanti king Osei Bonsu sent out an army against the Fante. At Abora, four miles from the Fante town of Cape Coast, a battle was fought, in which the Ashanti were victorious and the captured the accused. The meagre Fante forces had faced a much larger Ashanti army, but fought bravely. Ashanti troops went on to attack the Dutch fort at Kormantine (Fort Amsterdam). The British then tried to appease the belligerent Ashanti. Colonel Torrane, British commander of the Fante town of Cape Coast, handed over Kwadwo Otibu, the old and blind Assin king to the Asantehene, despite the very real possibility of him being executed by the Ashanti, which he later was.
- Adu Boahen: Politics in Ghana, 1800 - 1874. In: History of West Africa, London 1974, ISBN 0-582-64552-2.