The Council hopes its session next week in Nairobi will act as a catalyst for progress at talks between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). More than 2 million people have been killed in southern Sudan since the conflict began in 1983.Meanwhile the UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) reported that many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees have begun to return to their home areas in the south, encouraged by the good prospects for peace between the Government and rebels. But it added that protecting these returnees along the main roads remained a concern, with landmines constituting a major risk for them.In Sudan’s other major crisis in the western region of Darfur the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported today that lack of security and the resumption of violence had forced it to slash aid in an area where 1.45 million people have lost their homes and Janjaweed militias are accused of killing and raping thousands of villagers after local rebel groups took up arms against the Government.In October, WFP had been able to reach only 1.1 million persons with food aid compared with almost 3 million in September.Also in Darfur, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow and her son Seamus are witnessing firsthand the worsening humanitarian crisis. The actress has been visiting IDP camps and has met with representatives of the Government and the African Union in an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of children.Rape, violence and general insecurity remain the most pressing concerns and Ms. Farrow heard accounts from many women who had suffered abuse. Women are most vulnerable when they leave the camps in which they are forced to live in order to collect the firewood they need to survive.”I had heard that protection was the priority at this point – and it sure is,” she said. “They have to live with the choice of whether they can cook the meals for their family, and which of them is going to go out and face this sort of assault on a daily basis.”The two saw the work UNICEF has undertaken since the crisis began nearly two years ago. More than 900 classrooms have been built or rehabilitated, water and sanitation has been provided for many thousands of people, and more than 2 million children have been vaccinated against measles and/or polio.