Letter: Trapped in Kosovo

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Trapped in Kosovo

Sir: Your challenging comment on the media's role in the current Balkans crisis ("The Prime Minister hits the wrong target", 11 May) reminds us all of the urgent imperative for the international community to address the humanitarian crisis facing those still inside Kosovo.

The Prime Minister is right that those most in need of protection and assistance remain trapped inside the province. But he and other political leaders must show courage and vision if a way is to be found of reaching them.

Precedents such as Operation Lifeline in Sudan, where, with the consent of both parties to the conflict, humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians, or the establishment of "safe havens" in northern Iraq in 1992 - which did not require the consent of the Baghdad government - do exist and could be considered in the current crisis.

Without action of this kind the population inside Kosovo will remain beyond reach of help. Their only option will be to attempt to flee the country as refugees with all the attendant terrors witnessed by those who have made it to the camps in Macedonia and Albania.


Director General

Save the Children Fund

London SE5