Indonesians Held Hostage in PNG, Minister Retno says No Trade

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  • Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi. Image: TEMPO/Yosep Arkian

    Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi. Image: TEMPO/Yosep Arkian

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia will not include prisoner trade as an option in the attempt to free two Indonesian workers being held hostage by the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  The government is preparing other steps for their release.

    “No trades.  We will try other attempts because our abducted brothers are civilians and knows nothing.  So there will be no trades,” Retno said in Halim Perdanakusumah Airport on Tuesday, Sept 15.  However, Retno refused to mentioned the steps prepared by the Indonesian government besides the trade in releasing the two workers.

    Retno confirmed that the government will try their best to free the hostages.  Indonesian representative team is also monitoring the development and coordinating with the negotiation team in PNG to take necessary steps.

    Indonesia cannot directly negotiate with OPM due to the circumstances that the location is inside PNG territory.  Therefore, Indonesia through the government of PNG, are negotiating for the release of the hostages with OPM.  Retno still refuses to detail what scenarios have been prepared by the Indonesian government.  OPM has demanded the release of two OPM members currently being detain at Papua Police Department for the release of the two hostages.

    Previously, Coordinating for Political Law and Security Minister Luhut Panjaitan say ongoing negotiation between PNG and OPM is quite tough, because some of their demands were impossible to fulfill and tolerated by the Indonesian government.  Luhut refuse to detail their demands, but have confirmed that Indonesia will not be doing a trade.

    ANANDA TERESIA