Hiding In The Hills Of Kosovo

In the woods and hills of Kosovo, Serbia, a tragedy is unfolding that Western governments no longer want to hear about, reports CBS News Senior European Correspondent Tom Fenton.

More than 200,000 ethnic Albanians have fled to the hills. Even some of Kosovo's neighbors have turned their backs on the latest victims of the Serbs.

Aid workers like Save the Children's Dan Seymour are among the few witnesses to this tragedy. He says ethnic Albanians are stuck in the hills because the fighting is continuing, and in some cases, there is nothing left to return to.

Village after village has been wiped out by the Serbs' campaign of ethnic cleansing. Women and children are being separated from the men and fleeing for their lives. Even refugee camps have been attacked, sending the terrified population further into the mountains, where they face hunger, disease the elements as winter approaches.

"The longer it continues, the more children will be dying," says Seymour.

Wednesday, President Clinton repeated a pledge he made months ago to do something.

"I think it is imperative that we move forthrightly with our allies as firmly as possible to avert the humanitarian tragedy and then to get to a political solution," said Mr. Clinton.

They were forthright words from a president who staged a NATO show of force along the Kosovo border and talked about air strikes in June to stop the Serb assault -- and then did nothing.

European governments are showing their usual inability to take action. The U.S. has talked a tough game but so far it's just talk. That leaves hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians at the mercy of the weather -- or the Serbs.

Reported by Tom Fenton
©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved