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Papuan Leader: Susi Air Pilot Hostage By KKB A Setback for the Papua Region

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New Zealand national Susi Air pilot Captain Phillip Marthens is still being held hostage by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) led by Egianus Kogoya. He and five other passengers were arrested by the Armed Criminal Group or KKB since last Tuesday, February 7, 2023. 

As is known, the Papua region is a mountainous region where the role of pilots is very important in delivering both logistics and passengers. Apart from that, pioneering airlines in the Papua area can also assist development in the Papua area. 

In the effort to develop the Papua region, transportation is needed. The only thing that can reach the mountainous area of ​​Papua is by air transportation. For this reason, air transportation is urgently needed for the Papua region.

“Now the only thing that can be done is transportation problems, then the pilot fields are built manually using human power,” said Albert Yoku, Chair of the Jayapura District Religious Harmony Forum in a written statement, Thursday (2/3/2023). 

For this reason, according to Albert Yoku, pilots of pioneering airlines are heroes for the people of Papua. “The pilots are heroes, opening our isolation tiles in Papua and heroes of a new civilization for people,” he said. 

Regarding the hostage-taking of the Susi Air pilot, Albert Yoku was of the opinion that the hostage-taking was a setback for the Papua region. Because the hostage-taking could cause air transportation in Papua to be hampered.

“Because in my opinion this is fatal, yes, an act of fatalism towards changes in development that have been built so far, have been progressive and aggressive,” he said. 

“So if this one pilot causes 1,000 pilots not to fly and serve our people in the mountainous region, this is a tremendous setback,” he continued. 

On the other hand, Political Observer Ikrar Nusa Bhakti said the government was still making efforts to rescue the Susi Air pilot who was being held hostage by the KKB leader Egianus Kogoya. 

He hopes that a security and violence approach is the last way to save the Susi Air pilot. He is of the opinion that there is still another option to be able to negotiate with the KKB Papua, namely by cooperating with local religious and traditional leaders.

“The people from the clergy group in Papua who are also with the indigenous indigenous groups from that area are what we then make a choice for,” he said. 

“Because I believe that religious figures can really unite and then have the same vision and desire to solve this problem, I think they can join the government,” he continued.

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