United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon (R) meets with Special Joint U.N.-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan in Geneva April 14, 2012, as the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the deployment of the first wave of U.N. military observers to monitor a cease-fire between the Syrian government and the opposition. (Image: Reuters)
The ceasefire is part of a broader peace plan brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan, but it looked increasingly under threat throughout the weekend as the government vowed a crackdown on a wave of 'terrorist attacks' in Syria.
An advance team of five unarmed monitors arrived in the capital Damascus on Sunday evening. Under the U.N. plan, two dozen more observers are due to enter Syria in coming days.
Violence has continued despite the truce, with about 25 people reportedly dying on Sunday, many of them in Homs.
Annan, joint special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, brokered the six-point peace plan in March as part of international efforts to stop 13 months of violence.
The plan calls for the start of political dialogue, the delivery of humanitarian assistance, the release of prisoners including those involved in peaceful protests, freedom of movement for journalists to work throughout Syria.
The U.N. Security Council authorised the deployment of up to 30 unarmed observers on Saturday in the first resolution on Syria the 15-nation council managed to approve unanimously since the uprising erupted in March 2011.
The U.N. estimates Assad's forces have killed more than 9,000 people in the uprising. Syria says foreign-backed militants have killed more than 2,500 soldiers and police.