The former head of the United Nation, Kofi Annan, representing the U.N. visited Syria and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In early April, President Assad accepted the U.N. brokered ceasefire. According to the agreement, government forces are to withdraw from Syrian towns and villages by Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Rebels are required to lay down their weapons by Thursday, April 12, 2012. These measures are to pave the way for a dialogue to end the ongoing killing in Syria. A small group of U.N. observers will be in Syria to monitor the truce.
However, the government forces continued to bomb rebel strongholds. According to newspaper reports more than 100 people have been killed since the ceasefire was announced. One estimate indicates that more than 9,000 Syrians have been killed since the start of the uprising.
The world is skeptical about the truce and finding a permanent solution to the more than a year old conflict. The Saudi Arabia estimates more than one million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance including food and medical assistance. Thousands of Syrian refugees are flocking to Turkey and other neighboring countries. Turkey estimate the number to be more than 23,000.