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Government Seeks Dialogue to Save Pilot Susi Air from KST


By : Charles Tabuni )*

Until now, the Susi Air pilot named Capt. Phillips is still being held hostage by the Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST). The government does not want to carry out a scorched earth operation, but seeks dialogue to save it. It is hoped that in this way the pilot will be released soon.

The Susi Air plane was burned and the pilot was kidnapped by KST. This tense event occurred in Nduga Regency, Papua. Until now, KST has not released Capt. Phillips, even though the owner of Susi Air (Former Maritime Minister Susi Pudjiastuti) had asked them to free the pilot.

However, the government does not want to act rashly and resort to violence in the rescue mission of Capt. Phillips. Currently the pilot’s rescue strategy is dialogue, so that it can be resolved properly without any casualties from both sides. Offers of assistance from abroad were also politely rejected because the government and security forces could handle it on their own.

Deputy President KH Ma’ruf Amin ensured that the government continues to work to rescue Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Martens who is currently being held hostage by KST in Papua. The operation (rescue) carried out must certainly be taken into account. 

Don’t let there be (fall) victims. So there is no scorched earth system, maybe if it’s like that it’s easy. But think about how if the operation was carried out, (the hostages) survived, but did not cause many victims.

The Vice President added that rescue efforts by means of dialogue would take quite a bit longer. This is because the government continues to be careful and takes steps to negotiate and communicate, especially with local figures. 

Figures in Papua, especially the church, traditional leaders, local champions have been contacted. The government involved them in operations in Papua. Like when KST kidnapped civilians a few years ago, the rescue strategy also involved church figures.

Even though Capt Phillips is a foreigner, he still has to be rescued. The government wants to protect him, because the kidnapping incident occurred in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Papua Regional Police, Inspector General Mathius D. Fahiri, stated that the Papua Regional Police had made an approach to rescue the Susi Air pilot. According to him, there are community leaders and clergymen who are trying to help save the New Zealand citizen. 

Mathius ensured that the Papuan Police would not back down in the face of KST. Together with the TNI, they worked hard to deal with the problems caused by the group. Mainly what the Egianus Kogoya group did in Paro. He firmly stated, human safety is the highest law.

The approach taken by Inspector General Mathius is very appropriate because it reflects from the previous case. Some time ago, the KST led by Egianus Kogoya had kidnapped Papuan workers and were finally released, with the approach of community leaders and religious leaders. Currently, apart from the deployment of security forces, community leaders can also be sent to approach Egianus Kogoya to free the victims.

Religious leaders and community leaders are expected to help eradicate KST, because they are good citizens and nationalists. With its influence, KST will soften and then release the hostage passengers. Especially if these characters still have the same surname or are closely related, and their seduction will be easier to get KST to stop their atrocities.

With the influence of Papuan leaders, KST will soften and then release the hostage pilot. Especially if these characters still have the same surname or are closely related, and their seduction will be easier to get KST to stop their atrocities.

With a family approach, it is hoped that KST will release Capt Phillips and the passengers on the plane. The National Police thought that KST would surrender and provide a way for the hostages to return home. 

Even though there is a ‘smooth’ approach to this approach, the rescue mission carried out by the joint TNI-Polri team and the Carstensz Peace Task Force is still being carried out to find the KST location while securing the people of Papua.

The National Police and the TNI are also trying to find the KST headquarters led by Egianus Kogoya. Even though the Susi Air plane could not be saved, because it had already caught fire, the important thing was that the lives of the pilot and the passengers were safe.

Egianus Kogoya as the leader of KST must be responsible for releasing the victims including the pilot. So far there has been communication with his party and he stated that he would stop the hostage-taking, on the condition that Papua would be liberated. His request will never be granted because Papua is a legal part of Indonesia. Indigenous Papuans are very nationalistic and don’t want to be persuaded by KST.

The government seeks good dialogue and communication to release the Susi Air pilot who was held hostage by KST. The rescue mission with a familial approach aims for KST to free the hostages without any armed conflict. However, KST was still eradicated by members of the TNI and Polri so that no Papuans would become victims of their terror.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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