The phrase complicity of the international community has come to mean the inaction or silence of foreign governments during episodes of civil war or conflict that result in many deaths of civilians, sometimes bordering on genocide. The limits of international law govern foreign intervention, whether by the United Nations, or unilaterally from the United States or some other exterior power. The international community has been labeled complicit in several atrocities from the conflicts in former Yugoslavia to as recently as in Syria, where the opposition leadership in 2011 accused the international community of complicity due to inaction during the civil protests against the Syrian regime and the resulting brutal crackdowns. But one instance stands out as defining the concept of complicity of the international community ...

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