Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Tragedy on a massive scale
Tractor-loads of Kosovo refugees arrive at the Macedonian border
By James Naughtie of BBC's Today programme
It is a stream that goes on and on - the simplest thing to try to take you into this scene is to describe quite straightforwardly what I can see on this bitterly cold morning.
I can see a village just clinging to the slopes over there, the minaret of a mosque. We heard the muezzin calling as the cocks crowed round about earlier on.
It's an extraordinary scene and a few yards away from me, mingled in with some scrawny donkeys and a scene of all sorts of debris, are groups of refugees.
They've been coming here all night, as they've been coming day after day in tractor carts, some of them walking, wrapped up in whatever they can find.
Arriving in Macedonia
The men, some of them pretty hale and hearty and reasonably well-fed but having had clearly a terrible journey.
They are crowding into the old school here where one of the French aid agencies is looking after them.
Many of them are being met by friends and relatives but it's a scene which does reduce, I think, anyone seeing it to something near despair and just as I turn round and look across the valley, a great dip in the landscape here - a lovely tree-lined landscape in other circumstances - I'm looking into Kosovo.
I know - as everyone here knows - in those hills wreathed in mist there are people making their way from scenes which they say are atrocious and terrifying to the relative safety of this place.
Bleak and cold it may be but it's a place that they need and it's a place to which many tens of thousands of them are apparently heading as I speak.
The atrocities have been left behind
No one knows for certain how many there are here, or on the Albanian border to our west, though it's many tens of thousands and no one knows how many more will come.
The Macedonian authorities are now visibly nervy - they're deliberately slowing up the checks that they make. On the other side of this border they speak of a seven-mile queue waiting to be let through. So it is a trickle - hour by hour, family by family, but it never stops.
No one here is discussing Nato bombing - there aren't any orange flashes in this night sky. Here they speak of individual acts of horror. These are the tales that will become these people's legends. A memory that they will all share.
In the flickering lights of the mosque you see this community of Kosovo Albanians huddling together.
In the old school littered with clothes and food cartons and all the detritus of food poverty you find the doctors from Medicin du Monde saying the world must know.
Night in the folds of these Balkan hills but no rest - this long and terrible story has as yet no end.