The authors employ a generic analytical framework to analyse conflicts in the three case study countries, which differentiates between conflict dynamics (actions and events) and the more profound calculations of the conflict parties, based on material incentives, normative frameworks and other structural preconditions. Guided by the analytical framework, the paper includes a descriptive account of how the 'tormented triangle' took shape and then goes on to highlight the structural elements pertaining to why it emerged. The authors examine the theoretical literature on other regional conflicts in Africa and elsewhere and assess the relevance for the 'tormented triangle'. The paper concludes with a series of policy implications for conflict management and resolution in the context of regionalised conflicts in north and central Africa
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