14 Although this section does not intend to fully analyze the subject, it should be noted that the armed conflict launched in Guinea-Bissau in June 1998 is the result of a complex web of internal, regional and international factors. Structural causes of the conflict include Portugal`s colonial heritage, which has left deep traces in the country`s economic, social and political structures and infrastructure. Second, the War of Independence (1963-1974) left a surplus of weapons in the country, which was then used by individuals of the armed forces and the government to illegally supply separatist armed groups to Senegal. Finally, the long-standing rule of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) after independence has played a major role in consolidating an autocratic and corrupt state apparatus, strongly personified in the figure of Joo Bernardo “Nino” Vieira, who remained in power between 1980 and 1998. This confused tangle of factors, linked to the political and diplomatic interests of the former colonial powers of the region (Portugal, France and the Netherlands), created the general context of the 1998-1999 armed conflict and would affect the work of the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau after the conflict.5 The following list briefly describes links with important international agreements and statements that guide the work of the UNPA. 16The first multilateral reactions to the armed conflict came from ECOWAS and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), which succeeded in negotiating a peace agreement between Nino Vieira and Mane, signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in August 1998. As part of the agreement, Nino Vieira and Mane reaffirmed the ceasefire reached a few days earlier and agreed to the total withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country and the holding of general and presidential elections until March 1999 (S/1998/1028). The agreement also provided for the dispatch of an ECOWAS interposition force, made available by its monitoring group (ECOMOG, monitoring group of the Economic Community of West African States). It should be noted that this force was not led by the United Nations, but by a sub-regional organization, and that it would not be approved until later by the United Nations Security Council (S/RES/1216). According to Adebajo, the outcome of ECOMOG`s efforts would be limited due to its early withdrawal, after ECOWAS saw a significant deterioration in the security situation and the group`s logistical and financial difficulties (Adebajo, 2002: 119-124). This article examines the United Nations approach to peace-building in Guinea-Bissau after the 1998-1999 armed conflict in the country.
Despite the efforts of the United Nations and other international actors, the country still seems far from achieving the lasting peace advocated by the responders. The main assumption that is confirmed here in this context is that this restriction is due to the strong basis of the UN approach to the liberal peace framework.