The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague is being undermined by a lack of cooperation from most of the combatants in the former Yugoslavia - the Serbs, Bosnian Serbs and Croats.

Unless the United Nations and the Western powers use all their leverage to help the tribunal, the rule of international law and the legacy of the Nuremberg trials will be in danger.So far, 53 people have been indicted: 7 Croats, 3 members of the Serbian Army and 43 Bosnian Serbs. Yet only two, both Bosnian Serbs, have been apprehended and sent to The Hague - along with another Bosnian Serb suspect who has not yet been indicted.

The primary reason is that the governments and militaries have been sheltering the suspected war criminals.

But there is another worrisome trend. Many of the victims and witnesses that the prosecution needs have refused to cooperate. This is probably due to pressure from their governments, which could use a lack of witnesses as an excuse to claim that the accused cannot receive a fair trial and must be released.