Escaping Africa's War - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/6/02

Escaping Africa's War

Gunfire broke out in Western Africa Sunday as hopes for a truce between rebels in Ivory Coast and their government failed. Efforts by West African mediators to secure a cease fire collapsed for the second day in a row.

Hundreds have died fighting during an uprising sparked by disgruntled former soldiers. Rebel forces are calling for the withdrawal of the more than 1,000 French troops who helped evacuate foreigners when the fighting began.

Four of those foreigners, returned home to Lubbock Sunday night. The Abbott family lived in Africa for the last decade on a missionary assignment, the rebel fighting forced them out. They escaped last week, but just made it into Lubbock Sunday.

NewsChannel 11 was there when their church family welcomed them home. Never ending hugs, that is what the congregation of First Baptist Church had to give the Abbott family. David and Ann along with their two boys, Davy and Stephen returned home after weeks of living in fear.

"The rebels took over our little town Monday a week ago and since them it's been pretty heavy fighting and toward the end they cut off our phones by the Lords grace we had a satellite phone and it allowed us to keep up with the special forces. And we knew by Saturday that they were coming in to get us but we didn't know how," David Abbott said.

The Abbott family along with 18 others at their hospital compound, drove to a secluded spot and we're rescued by French helicopters. Eventually they were taken by C130's to Gana. "The Embassy said it was necessary for us to evacuate so for several days it's been really intense, the shooting kept us awake for a week and we've been confined to a compound," David said.

David Abbott says the rebels were not after Americans, but the fighting made them unsafe. "The scary part was that the fighting was going on within 200 yards of our compound and we had bullets coming through houses and just a tremendous amount of shooting around us."

While locked into the compound David remained the communicator for the group on a satellite phone, while Ann prepared the family to leave. "We brought home basically our documents, a little bit of jewelry and just two pairs of clothes a piece and that's all we have. It was hard the first couple of days but we know that lives are much more important than things," Ann Abbott said.

"Lord willing if it calms down and the door opens back up, we'll go back to the compound because our hearts our with the people there and with the ministry that God has given us there and we're convinced that if God leads us to a place he's going to take care of us," David said.

So far the fighting has not moved into the where area they lived. Their hope is to go back to Africa and find their home just as they left it, then pick up on the life they had to leave.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:02:22 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:37 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:37:02 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

  • Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:32:44 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:36 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:36:17 GMT
    (Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...(Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.
  • Raul Castro retires as Cuban president, outlines future

    Raul Castro retires as Cuban president, outlines future

    Thursday, April 19 2018 12:11 AM EDT2018-04-19 04:11:58 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:34 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:34:55 GMT
    Miguel Diaz-Canal is the first person not named Castro to lead Cuba in 50 years. (Source: CNN)Miguel Diaz-Canal is the first person not named Castro to lead Cuba in 50 years. (Source: CNN)

    Raul Castro's departure from the presidency is a symbolically charged moment for a country that has been under the absolute rule of one family since the Cuban revolution of the 1950s.

    Raul Castro's departure from the presidency is a symbolically charged moment for a country that has been under the absolute rule of one family since the Cuban revolution of the 1950s.

Powered by Frankly