PAPUAAROUND – Susi Air pilot, Philip Mark Mehrtens, was held hostage by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Nduga, Papua. This news circulated through video and photo uploads showing the Susi Air pilot, Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens with the KKB led by Egianus Kogoya.
According to detik.com, the following are a number of things that are known so far regarding the news of the Susi Air pilot taking hostage by KKB Papua, Thursday (16/2/2023):
1. Message in the video of Pilot Susi Air being held hostage by the KKB
In the photo circulating on Wednesday (15/2/2023), Captain Philip is seen wearing a jeans jacket, shorts and a bucket hat surrounded by a crowd of KKB carrying firearms and sharp weapons. You can also see the Morning Star flag being raised.
In the photo, Captain Philip shakes hands with a KKB member. In addition to photos, there are also videos. In the video, Captain Philip delivers several messages. “OPM was arrested by me, for Free Papua,” said Captain Philip.
“Indonesian (soldiers) have to go home. If they don’t come home, I can’t escape, and they say shoot me,” he continued haltingly.
Captain Philip then continued his message in English. Then a KKB member spoke up. “Okay from us, we caught the pilot from Karo, we brought this pilot because the Indonesian military has never recognized Papua as independent,” explained a KKB member.
He said that the eyes of the Indonesian government must be open to Papua. He threatened not to release Captain Philip unless their demands were met. “Only (Captain Philip) let us go with Free Papua. Otherwise, the pilots will both die,” he continued.
2. Government Efforts to Free Pilot Susi Air from the KKB
The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud Md said he would prioritize the safety of Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens, the Susi Air pilot who was held hostage by the KKB. Mahfud Md emphasized that the government will continue to make maximum efforts to save the pilots with a persuasive approach.
“I, the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, would like to convey an explanation and the government’s stance regarding the tragedy or the Susi Air incident where hostage-taking is still taking place today by a group of people from the Papuan armed violence group, KKB, who are still holding pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens hostage, who has not been released,” said the Coordinating Minister. Polhukam Mahfud Md in a press statement on the Kemenko Polhukam YouTube account, Tuesday (14/2/2023).
Mahfud emphasized that taking civilians hostage was not justified. The government is also opening up opportunities for other efforts to free pilot Philip. The Indonesian government, Mahfud said, would continue to coordinate with the New Zealand government to expedite Phillips’ release.
3. The National Police and the New Zealand Police Attempt Negotiations
Reported by detikSulsel, a meeting was held with representatives of the Police from New Zealand at the Papua Police Mobile Brigade Battalion B Headquarters, Mimika Regency, Central Papua, Wednesday (15/2). The police persuade New Zealand to secure negotiations to shoot Philip’s pilot.
“Friends from New Zealand came to find out about the steps taken by the Indonesian police, especially the Papua Regional Police, regarding the handling of one of their citizens who was taken by the KKB (Egianus Kogoya),” said Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius D Fakhiri to reporters, Wednesday (15/2) .
4. Police confirm Captain Philip is still alive
Previously, the police confirmed that Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens was still alive after the Susi Air plane that was in his crew was burned by KKB leadership Egianus Kogoya in Nduga, Papua. However, the Susi Air pilot is still being held hostage by KKB Egianus Kogoya.
“The condition of the pilot from New Zealand, 2 days ago we received information that he was still alive and safe. But the pilot was brought by them,” said Nduga Police Chief AKBP Rio Aleksander Penelewan to reporters in Timika as reported by detikSulsel, Tuesday (14/2).
However, Rio admitted that he could not explain the whereabouts of pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens. He said the joint security apparatus continued to make various efforts to free the pilot.
Presence, the PK-BVY aircraft belonging to the airline Susi Air was burned by KKB at the Paro Airport, Paro District, Nduga, Papua Mountains. Until now, together with local civilian government officials, they are making efforts to rescue the Susi Air pilot held hostage by the KKB in Papua.
Related News : Check The Facts of Susi Air Plane Burned by KKB in Nduga