Dissatisfied with attempts to create an independent Kosovo through peaceful means, the Kosovo Liberation Army was formed in 1996 to take the Balkan state independent by force. A guerilla war ensued, and in 1999 Milosevic’s Serbian army poured into Kosovo and began a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In turn driving hundreds of thousands of Kosovar refugees across the border into neighboring countries.
Kosovar refugees fleeing the ethnic cleansing inside their country, finally make it across the border into Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
With their windshield smashed out, a family is able to cross into northern Albania and flee from ethnic cleansing happening inside Kosovo. ©Thomas James Hurst
A young man, right, facing out, who was detained by Serb paramilitary inside Kosovo is reunited with his family across the border in Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
Refugees fleeing the war and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo scramble for fresh water being distributed by aid agencies in northern Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
Hundreds of canvas tents house and shelter refugees pouring in from neighboring Kosovo where war and ethnic cleansing is being waged by Serbian paramilitary forces. ©Thomas James Hurst
Family members separated while fleeing the fighting in Kosovo, pass their children through the barbed wire when they are reunited at a refugee camp in northern Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
Kosovar refugees stand in mud and water waiting to receive their day’s ration of food. ©Thomas James Hurst
A man rests against his tractor, which he used to pull a cart carrying his family and a few belongings when he fled Kosovo for Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
For a moment, an old man and his granddaughter lose themselves in laughter as they wait for aid along with hundreds of other Kosovar refugees in a gymnasium in Albania. ©Thomas James Hurst
A Kosovar boy jumps on a set of bed springs inside an old Albanian military barracks turned refugee camp. ©Thomas James Hurst
The boy’s father told a story of how Serb paramilitary broke his son’s legs, promising that he would suffer even worse if the family did not leave their home and country immediately. ©Thomas James Hurst
The beheaded body of a Kosovar man floats among the trash in a river running from Kosovo into Albania. Serb paramilitary, carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing, murdered men of fighting age and dumped them in rivers and shallow graves. ©Thomas James Hurst
A Kosovar child’s drawing depicting the killing he witnessed in his village before his family was able to flee into the surrounding hills and across the border to a refugee camp in Albania.