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South, East, West Africa suffer massive internet disruptions

By , Africa editor
Africa , 14 Mar 2024
The majority of reports about affected services are coming from South, East and West Africa.
The majority of reports about affected services are coming from South, East and West Africa.

Massive internet interruptions are taking place in Southern, Eastern, and West African countries because of undersea cable breakages.

Earlier today, Dimension Data informed its clients in South Africa that there was a cable failure on the West Africa Cable System, and as a result, the business stated it has rerouted traffic via the Seacom line, which is now saturated.

Seacom's own undersea cable is also damaged, and the company warned last week that repairs in the Red Sea may take longer than expected, since authorisation to maintain impacted areas may take eight weeks to obtain.

Microsoft also announced on X (formerly Twitter) that it is investigating the cause of an outage where some users in the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region were unable to access one or more Microsoft 365 services.

The majority of reports about affected services are coming from South Africa, Kenya and UK.

Bayobab Group also acknowledged ongoing disruptions affecting connectivity services in several West African countries, due to breaks in multiple major undersea cables.

The company said in a statement that it is working to mitigate the impact on its customers in the affected countries.

“Our operations are actively working to reroute traffic through alternative network paths and engaging with our consortium partners to expedite the repair process for the damaged cables,” reads the statement.

It added: “We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work diligently to resolve this situation.”

Associated Press recently 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).

This was also confirmed by Dr. Thomas King, CTO at global internet exchange DE-CIX, commented on the damage to undersea cables in the Red Sea.

He said: "According to the information we have, the cause of the damage was the anchor of a freighter targeted by the Houthi rebels.

"At some time, the crew abandoned the ship and dropped anchor to prevent the unmanned ship from drifting out of control. Unfortunately, the anchor failed to hold, and the drifting wreck dragged it across the bottom, rupturing the three damaged cables before the ship sank.”

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