Technical multi-stakeholder report on Internet connectivity: The case of Sudan Conflict 2023

Contributors: IODA, Cloudflare, Kentik

IODA teamed up with Cloudflare and Kentik to investigate the impact of the armed conflict between Sudan's armed forces on Internet connectivity, Internet traffic, and Internet transit between Sudan and Chad. The conflict began April 15th of 2023. This analysis reviews pre-conflict connectivity compared to 2 months post conflict.

Summary of Findings:

  • Sustained impact on Internet connectivity begins April 15th, 2023 with ~70% reduction in Internet Infrastructure connectivity from early May to end of June 2023.
  • April 16th government-ordered shutdown was reported by Reuters, affecting MTN, the shutdown was reported to be lifted hours after the order.
  • Portions of customer base in both Sudan and Chad dependent on a single transit provider experienced multiple outages.

Sudan Internet Infrastructure Connectivity

IODA data shows Sudan Internet Infrastructure Connectivity dropped by ~70% compared to pre- conflict levels. All three of IODA's signals: Routing Announcements (BGP), Active Probing, and Telescope show loss of connectivity in Sudan beginning April 15th, 2023.

IODA Connectivity Signals for Sudan

Sudan Internet Traffic

Cloudflare data shows Traffic drops without recovery for top Internet providers: Sudatel and MTN

Sudatel Traffic
MTN Traffic

Evidence of a Government-directed Shutdown?

In addition to media reports of a government-directed shutdown, MTN network traffic from Cloudflare confirmed reports of government-ordered shutdown on April 16th. The shutdown only lasted a few hours.

Reuters report of the government-ordered shutdown

Transit analysis / Chad Impact

Kentik's Director of Internet Analysis provides the following research on the impact on Chad.

Providers in Chad get transit from either the west via Cameroon (Camtel) or east via Sudan (Sudatel)

  • SudaTchad gets transit from Camtel and Sudatel
  • Millicom Chad gets transit from SudaTchad and O3b (LEO satellite service).
  • SotelTchad gets transit from Camtel.
  • Prestabist mostly gets transit from Sudatel, but sometimes gets some from Camtel.
Disruptions in Chad due to Sudan. Prefixes originated by AS328594 go through Sudatel. prefixes transited by AS328594 go through Camtel and Sudatel