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South, East, West Africa Suffers Internet Outages

Tech Security
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The SAT-3/West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), and MainOne are said to have been damaged, which has resulted in the disruption of internet services in Nigeria, Ghana, and other countries across the continent. According to NetBlocks, an internet analysis, the cut has triggered outages and connectivity issues for mobile operators and internet service providers across the West African sub-region.

However, as of the time of reporting, the cause of the cable faults has not yet been established; despite this development, one of Nigeria's telecommunication giant, MTN Nigeria, explained that the network outage experienced by its subscribers was a “result of damage to international undersea cables across East & West Africa”.

“The repair process is ongoing to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Please look out for further updates,” the company said.

In South Africa, a Vodacom spokesperson disclosed to pressmen that the “Multiple undersea cable failures between South Africa and Europe are currently impacting South Africa’s network providers, including Vodacom.”

Tech giant, Microsoft also reported network latency issues in its South Africa North and South Africa West locations. “Starting at 10:30 UTC on 14 Mar 2024, customers using Azure Services in South Africa North and South Africa West may experience increased network latency or packet drops when accessing their resources,” the company said.

"We have determined that multiple fiber cables on the West Coast of Africa — WACS, MainOne, SAT3, ACE — have been impacted which reduced total capacity supporting our Regions in South Africa," Microsoft said in an update. "In addition to these cable impacts, the ongoing cable cuts in the Red Sea — EIG, Seacom, AAE-1 — are also impacting capacity on the East Coast of Africa. This combination of incidents has impacted all Africa capacity – including other Cloud providers and public Internet as well."

Meanwhile, in the East Africa subregion, it was reported that three undersea cables were cut because of a sunken ship, attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels operating in the area.

According to Seacom, the disruption affected a segment of cable running from Mombasa (Kenya) to Zafarana (Egypt).