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President Jokowi Ensures the Release of Pilot Susi Air Continues


Efforts to free Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Mehtrens are still ongoing. Steps such as negotiations involving religious leaders and community leaders are still continuing. The move continues for humanitarian reasons.

In an effort to free captain Philip Mark, Indonesian President Ir. Joko Widodo said that the government and security forces are still continuing efforts to do so. Philip himself was recorded as having been held hostage by the Papuan Separatist Terrorist Group (KST) led by Egianus Kogoya since February 2023.

            He said that what had been tried and done regarding the release of the hostages could not be disclosed. Certainly the government will continue to try to free the pilot from New Zealand.

            Meanwhile, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Pol. Mathius Fakhiri is still prioritizing the negotiation process involving the Egianus Kogoya family, religious leaders and community leaders, and the negotiation process is still continuing.

            Previously, National Police Chief Gen. Pol Listyo Sigit Prabowo had held Operation Paro 2023 which involved 965 personnel, where these personnel had been deployed to certain points to carry out actions. He conveyed this in the DPR Commission III working meeting with the National Police Chief in the DPR Commission III Meeting Room.

            In addition, Sigit also mentioned that his party had conducted foreign diplomacy efforts with the New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, the New Zealand Police Attache (Atpol), the Australian Federal Police, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), and various other foreign figures. Where they all respect Indonesian sovereignty and condemn the hostage-taking carried out by the KST group.

            On a different occasion, the TNI Commander, Admiral Yudo Margono, stated that he would continue to prioritize negotiations to free Susi Air pilot Philips Mark Mehtrens. Because KST had threatened to shoot Captain Philips dead.

            Previously, Yudo had spoken out regarding the threat made by KST that he would shoot the Susi Air captain dead. He said that the joint TNI-Polri apparatus was still trying to save Pilot Susi Air who was being held hostage by KST led by Egianus Kogoya.

            Yudo also explained that one of the obstacles in the Susi Air pilot rescue operation was the weather and terrain conditions. So it takes time to process Captain Philip’s rescue operation.

            Meanwhile, the Head of the TNI Information Center (Kapuspen) Rear Admiral Julius Widjojono revealed that the unpredictable weather in the Papua Mountains was one of the reasons for the difficulty in trying to rescue Captain Philips. However, he emphasized that TNI personnel already knew the whereabouts of the Susi Air pilot.

            Even though the search for the Susi air pilot had narrowed, Julius admitted that the TNI was experiencing problems in the rescue operation. In fact, radio communication paths through radio channels are also still hampered, making it difficult for the apparatus to communicate.

            On the other hand, the TNI has never backed down and has remained consistent in maintaining the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia, one of which is in Papua. The TNI will also act according to the direction of the TNI commander to take firm action without hesitation against KST.

            Previously, the Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko revealed that the government would continue to take a subtle and firm approach in efforts to free Pilot Susi Air. He also revealed that the government would continue to try to free Captain Philips. 

            According to him, currently there are diplomatic approaches,  soft approach, hard approach. Each of them already knows how to carry out their role. The police, military and foreign ministries should know what they will do.

            Of course it is not easy to carry out a dialogue with KST, so there is no target time for when the negotiations will be completed, but the security forces will always try to make the persuasive steps taken reach a bright spot. Because after all, the agreement between the two parties is also not easy.

            Previously, the TNI had also deployed organic troops in the operation to free Susi Air Pilot Philip Mark Mehtrens. The deployment of organic Soldiers was carried out due to consideration of the vast area and geographical conditions of Papua.

            Colonel Kav Herman Taryaman as Head of Information for the XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command (Kapendam) said the deployment of organic soldiers was carried out due to consideration of the vast area and geographical conditions. Herman revealed that the number of TNI soldiers deployed to assist the Police in this operation was normative or as needed.

            Regarding the condition of captain Philips, Head of Operations for the Cartenz Peace Task Force, Kombes Faizal Ramadhani, said that the pilot from New Zealand was still in good health. Of course the hope is that the health condition of captain Philips will be maintained. 

Faizal also revealed that the negotiation process being carried out by various parties was still ongoing, even though there had been several meeting points from the results of the negotiations, but the situation was still developing.

The government ensures that efforts to free Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Mehtrens will continue despite the many obstacles that complicate it. The hope is that these efforts will find a solution so that Philip can be released safely.

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