Jayapura – Kaops Damai Cartenz Kombes Faizal Rahmadani expressed his hope that hostage Philip Mark Mehrtens, who works as a Susi Air pilot, could soon be released from captivity by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB).
“It is true that we hope that the hostages who are currently still being held by the KKB led by Egianus Kogoya can be released immediately considering that various efforts are being made, especially negotiations carried out by the Nduga Regional Government,” said Cartenz Head of Peace Operations Commissioner Faizal Rahmadani.
He acknowledged that efforts to free the hostages who have been held captive since February 7 2023 are a challenge in themselves, but with the support of all parties, it is hoped that Philip, who is a Susi Air pilot, will soon be released.
“Hopefully this hostage-taking case can be resolved properly in 2024,” said Commissioner Faizal.
He explained that currently the Cartenz Peace Task Force is prioritizing law enforcement efforts against the KKB and political criminal groups (KKP) in Papua to maintain security stability and public order in four provinces in Papua.
Moreover, he said, the Cartenz Peace Task Force’s operations have been extended until December 2024, so that apart from carrying out law enforcement, the party is also approaching and coaching the community, as well as carrying out detection to support law enforcement efforts.
Faizal said the target of the operation covered the Central Papua and Mountain Papua Provinces, with a focus on nine districts, namely the Bintang Mountains, Yahukimo, Mimika, Intan Jaya, Dogiyai, Puncak, Nduga, Jaya Wijaya and Jayapura districts.