How King Badu Bonsu II of Ghana killed Dutch government officials including a governor

Badu Bonsu II was a Ghanaian king of the Ahanta who was innocently executed in 1838 by the Dutch, who controlled the Dutch Gold Coast at the time. 

King Badu was not pleased with the interference of the Dutch people grabbing land by force from the native and getting involved in the kingdom affairs.

In 1837, Badu Bonsu II mobolized his warriors and rebelled against the Dutch government, and killed several officers, including acting governor Hendrik Tonneboeijer. The Dutch government justified military action against Badu Bonsu by citing the Treaty of Butre, and an expeditionary force was sent to Ahanta.

During the resulting battle, the king was arrested, tried for murder, and hanged. The Dutch dismantled the Ahanta regime, naming their commandant of Fort Batenstein at Butre as regent and holding the nation under tight control with an expanded military and civilian presence.

Following King Badu Bonsu’s execution, his body was desecrated when a Dutch surgeon removed his head. The head was transported to the Netherland and kept in a jar. 

The head was rediscovered in the Netherlands in the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). It was returned to Ghana for proper burial on July 23, 2009, following a ceremony in The Hague.


Credit: Ghana the Black Star of Africa

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