Jayapura- It is unfortunate to see the condition of Philip Mark Mehrtens who has been a hostage of the Papuan armed criminal group (KKB) for 10 months. Although he was last seen in April 2023, his condition and whereabouts are still a question mark.
The government, in this case represented by the Head of Information of Kogabwilhan III Colonel Czi Gusti I Nyoman Suriastawa and Commander of the Joint Command of Defense Region III Lieutenant General Richard Taruli Horja Tampubolon, stated that Philip is still in good health based on information from reliable sources. Nevertheless, the security and confidentiality of information regarding Philip’s situation remains strictly maintained.
Liberation efforts continue to be carried out by prioritizing communication (soft approach negotiations) with KKB. The military also emphasized that they continue to monitor the situation and are ready to take anticipatory steps in the event of an emergency situation.
This situation reminds us of the complexity of the conflict in Papua and the challenges in dealing with armed groups. Hopefully, Philip’s release will be safe and successful, and that conditions in Papua will become more stable in the future.