Thursday, October 22, 1998 Published at 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Behind the Guinea-Bissau conflict
The recent fighting in the impoverished West African country of Guinea-Bissau once again sees President Joao Bernardo Vieira confronted by his one-time comrade-in-arms, Brigadier Ansumane Mane.
Guinea-Bissau gained independence in 1974, the first of Portugal's former colonies to do so in the modern era.
It was achieved after a 13-year struggle, led by the African Independence Party, the PAIGC, which has been in power ever since.
But its leaders have repeatedly fought with each other over how the country should be governed.
Mr Cabral was one of the founders of the PAIGC, and became the country's president in 1974. He made Joao Vieira, who had previously been the commander of the armed forces, his prime minister.
But Commander Vieira ousted his former ally from power in a near bloodless coup in 1980.
He claimed that endemic corruption and economic mismanagement was preventing the country from emerging from its extreme state of under-development.
But now the cycle of history has come full circle, and President Vieira is accused of autocracy by fellow members of the PAIGC.
The current dispute was triggered when President Vieira fired the head of the armed forces, Brigadier Ansumane Mane, on June 5, accusing him of allowing arms to be smuggled to rebels in the southern Senegalese province of Casamance.
General Mane, who also fought alongside President Vieira during the colonial wars, attempted to seize control the following day. He declared himself the head of a military government and called for free elections.
Relations with neighbours
Senegal and Guinea-Conakry both sent in troops to help crush General Mane's revolt. But although Guinea-Bissau enjoys mostly good relations with its neighbours, there have been some problems.
Although one of the world's poorest countries, Guinea-Bissau was once hailed as a potential model for Third World development. After independence, the West poured money into restructuring, but the country failed to meet any of its economic targets.