US President George W Bush has ordered American warships to deploy off the coast of Liberia, leading to the announcement of a rebel ceasefire.
Rebel commanders say they have instructed their front line commanders only to defend themselves whilst holding their positions.
The ceasefire - ordered by rebel commanders on the ground rather than their leaders - came on the seventh day of fierce fighting in the capital Monrovia, which has left hundreds dead in recent days.
Heavy shelling on Friday included a direct hit on a playground where people were washing or preparing a breakfast, killing them all.
Friday's was the worst violence since Monday, when 60 people died.
Both rebels and government forces now say they will accept peacekeepers, but White House spokesman Scott McClellan sounded a note of caution about the US mission.
He said the US would continue assessing its position until more information about the national make-up of planned West African peacekeeping forces is known.
Mr Bush said the US mission would be limited - in numbers, time and scope - while United Nations-backed forces assumed "the responsibility for peacekeeping".
The US has been under intense pressure to send peacekeeping troops to Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves in the 19th Century.
Mr Bush has said Liberian President Charles Taylor must leave before he will put US troops on the ground.
He told a press conference on Friday: "We're deeply concerned that the condition of the Liberian people is getting worse and worse and worse.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3097405.stm