Jakarta, IO – The National Liberation Army of West Papua-Free Papua Organization (TPNPB-OPM) troops who took the pilot and passenger of Susi Air hostage issued demand to the Government of Indonesia. The group claimed responsibility for the sabotage and burning of Susi Air plane which landed at Paro Airport in Nduga regency, Papua Highlands province on Tuesday (7/2).
“We have taken hostage of the pilot and passengers and we will not release them until the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia recognizes Papuan independence,” said TPNPB-OPM spokesperson Sebby Sambom, reported Tempo.
Sebby also conveyed the message from the group’s leader, Egianus Kogoya, who demanded that construction in Nduga be stopped and all flights to the region be halted or else they will not release the hostages.
“TNI-Polri personnel cannot shoot or interrogate Nduga civilians indiscriminately because it was us, TPNPB OPM Kodap III Ndugama-Derakma, under the command of Brigadier General Egianus Kogoya, that did it,” he declared.
Read: Susi Air plane in flames in Nduga. Pilot and passengers’ whereabouts unknown
Meanwhile, the condition of the New Zealand pilot, Philips Max Marthin, and five other passengers are unknown. Susi Air flight PK-BVY was supposed to return to Mozes Kilangin Airport, Timika regency at 7.40am WIT from Paro, Nduga, but the plane was set ablaze.
“Various efforts are being made to find the pilot and passengers and assure their safety,” said Cartenz Damai Task Force Commander Chief Commissioner Faizal Rahmadani, reported CNN Indonesia. (bp)