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The Government Maximum Frees Pilot Susi Air From KST Papua


By : Bryan Pianus )*

Efforts to free Pilot Susi Air will not stop, the government has committed to exert all efforts to free pilot Philip Mark Mehtrens who is still being held hostage by KST. In carrying out various efforts ranging from light to hard efforts with a number of approaches.

During his remarks at the opening of the Papua Street Carnival, President Joko Widodo said that the government had made great efforts to release the Susi Air Pilot. However, whatever the effort, of course, cannot be disclosed to the public. He also said that he also held a meeting to solve Philip’s pilot problem

            Papua Police Chief Inspector General Pol Mathius Fakhiri admitted that his party had involved the Egianus Kogoya family, community leaders and religious leaders to persuade him and release Pilot Susi Air who had been held captive since 7 February. He also hoped that efforts would be made to free the pilot, but there were two things that would not be granted, namely: independence for Papua and weapons.

            Previously, the TNI Commander, Admiral Yudo Margono, admitted that his party would still prioritize negotiations in efforts to free Pilot Susi Air. He does not want gun violence to have an impact on society. Moreover, there is a request from the New Zealand Government so that the settlement can run well and not cause casualties.

            Until now, Yudo has entrusted the negotiation process to the Acting Regent of Nduga. In the negotiation process, the security forces also prioritized the peaceful path for the safety of all parties.

            He also said that the obstacle he is currently facing is preparing planes and pilots who are willing to fly to the specified location to pick up Captain Philips. He also mentioned that getting a plane was not easy, currently the priority in the hostage release process is the safety of Philips and local residents.

            Therefore, a peaceful negotiation process remains at the forefront. Yudo further admitted that there was no problem if KST submitted a ransom requirement of Rp. 5 billion to free Captain Philips. Yudo said that this amount of money was not a problem, especially when it involved a human life.

            In fact, negotiations related to the release of the New Zealand citizens have been carried out for a long time. However, it stopped because the National Police could not grant all of Egianus’ KST requests. Egianus himself had submitted a number of requests to release the pilot from New Zealand. Starting from a ransom of IDR 5 billion, drugs and firearms.

            Of course, requests such as the supply of firearms are impossible to fulfill, because the ownership of firearms for civil society is clearly not justified and dangerous, especially if the firearms are in the hands of groups who want to separate from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

            On a different occasion, Mahfud MD as the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menkopolhukam) explicitly stated that the government’s stance would not be silent in the face of KST threats. In this case it was KST Papua who took hostage Susi Air Pilot Philip Mark Mehtrens and shot a TNI soldier to death.

            Mahfud emphasized that the TNI and Polri are continuing to prepare a strategy to free the Susi Air pilot who was taken hostage by an armed criminal group in Nduga Regency, Papua Mountains. Certainly not in a violent way.

            Mahfud explained that there were actually two difficulties. First, the hostages are used as human shields or as KST’s self-protection. When the TNI-Polri moved, they (KST) threatened to kill hostages, while his party as civilized citizens must of course be able to protect foreign citizens.

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.

            On a different occasion, Chairman of Commission I DPR Meutya Hafid asked the government to be able to ensure the safety of the Susi Air pilot who was taken hostage by KST while continuing to work on the negotiation process. In this effort, he said that the government should not make the nation’s pride fall.

            Although the rescue process takes a long time, the government must remain careful in negotiating and communicating, especially with local figures. Moreover, the initial intention of saving was by peaceful means so that there were no casualties.

            Efforts to free pilot Philip Mark from New Zealand will not stop before Philip is successfully freed from being held hostage. The government also does not want to be reckless in taking steps to minimize casualties. Because after all, Philip’s liberation is a step to humanize humans so they can live freely without being held captive.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Manado

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