Idress Deby says he captured the capital of Ndjamena and sent President Hissene Habre packing in order to bring multiparty democracy to Chad. Although Mr. Habre and the United States and France said that Mr. Deby was armed to some extent by Libya, which he and Libya deny, he is the general who with French help defeated the Libyans three years ago.
Nobody can fault Mr. Deby's speedy repatriation of 2,000 Libyan prisoners of war. But the world should hold Mr. Deby to his promise. The French, who declined to save Mr. Habre with their Sparrowhawk fighter planes, should particularly see to that.
This is a case where foreign intervention kept civil war going for years. The French, with U.S. support, intervened to prevent Libya from taking over Chad or re-installing its puppet. And it is a case where, when the Libyans and the West backed out, Libya's guy swept right in. Except he denies being Libya's guy, and he certainly wasn't three years ago, when he was Mr. Habre's guy.