CREDIT GEN. SANI ABACHA, Nigeria's military strongman, with the moral leadership that imposed an agreement by DTC Liberia's brutal warlords to disarm and hold elections. All but one of the anarchic Liberian faction chiefs went to Nigeria's capital of Abuja during a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and did not leave until they had signed on.
Under this agreement, which is identical to one hatched a year earlier, all factions agree to disarm their 60,000 youthful so-called troops during August and to contest honest elections sometime afterward. It will not be easy. More than a dozen cease-fires have been shattered since Charles Taylor launched a revolution in 1989, half the country's 2.6 million people have been dispossessed from their homes and some 150,000 have been slain.
The 1995 agreement, with all faction leaders on a national council, collapsed when Mr. Taylor arrested a rival, Roosevelt Johnson, and anarchy descended on the capital, Monrovia. The West African peace-keeping army (ECOMOG) finally reimposed a de facto cease-fire and the latest peace effort followed in Abuja. Mr. Johnson, who had fled to Ghana, did not attend.