Jayapura – Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius Fakhiri said that Susi Air pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens was still in the Nduga Regency area, Papua Mountains. Efforts to free them are still being carried out by prioritizing negotiations to avoid casualties, especially from civilians, considering that the KKB often joins forces with the community. This was said by the Papua Police Chief in Jayapura, Thursday (8/2).
According to the Regional Police Chief, up to now the Nduga Regency Government, especially the Acting Regent, is still being prioritized considering that apart from having family relations, the incident and location of the hostage taking is also in his area. Apart from that, his party is still providing opportunities for parties, especially community leaders and religious leaders, to help approach the KKB led by Egianus Kogoya to release the Susi Air pilot.
“We hope that efforts to free the hostages will soon be realized in good health,” said Mathius Fakhiri.
Susi Air pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens has been held hostage by KKB since 7 February 2023 shortly after landing his plane at Paro airport, Nduga Regency. The KKB led by Egianus Kogoya also burned a plane belonging to Susi Air.
Mathius Fakhiri also emphasized that the safety of the Susi Air pilot was the main factor. “Various steps have been taken by both the Nduga Regional Government and the TNI-Polri while prioritizing negotiations. The various steps taken to free Phillip Mark Mehrtens were explained when receiving the visit of the New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia Kevin Jeffery Burnet,” said Mathius Fakhiri.
“We need patience from all parties, including fellow journalists, because the TNI-Polri, assisted by all elements, including community leaders and church leaders, continue to try to free Phillip,” explained Mathius Fakhiri.
The Papua Police Chief admitted that during the meeting the New Zealand Ambassador expressed his support for sovereignty where Papua is an inseparable part of the Republic of Indonesia. With this support, what Benny Wenda and Sebby Sambom said is baseless.
“There are no countries that provide support for the issue of an independent Papua abroad, so what is conveyed using the Papua issue, the issue of politicization for the interests of an independent Papua must stop, and the TNI-Polri together with the parties will continue to work to free the hostages until they are free in “We are safe,” emphasized Mathius Fakhiri.