New Zealand Hostage Urges Indonesia to Stop Airstrikes in Nduga
26 April 2023 15:10 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB-OPM) spokesman Sebby Sambom sent another video message from New Zealand pilot Captain Philips Max Mehrtens on Wednesday, April 26.
In the 1-minute and 38-second video, Mehrtens said the video was made on Monday afternoon, April 24, 2023, or three months since he was kidnapped in Paro.
Speaking in the Indonesian language and then in English, he said he is in good health. He also said Indonesia dropped bombs in the area last week and asked Indonesia to stop the military operation.
“Indonesia’s been dropping bombs in the area over the last week. Please, there is no need, it is dangerous for me and everybody here,” Mehrtens said.
Meanwhile, in a separate written message, Sambom said Mehrtens was in good condition and claimed that the latter was worried about the bombings carried out by the Indonesian military in Nduga.
"This endangered him and everyone in the Nddugama area, Papua,” said Sambom.
Sambom added that the video was specifically for the New Zealand Government and the pilot’s family in New Zealand. But because Indonesia carried out the bombing, he announced this video message to the media.
“We emphasize that the release of the pilot must go through negotiations, instead of military operations,” said the OPM spokesman.
Indonesian Military spokesman Rear Admiral Julius Widjojono previously said the Free Papua Organization (OPM) alias the separatist group was getting cornered and panicked after the April 15 attack.
According to Julius, they were no longer able to carry out counterattacks when the joint team evacuated 36 soldiers of the Raider Infantry Battalion 321/Galuh Taruna who were ambushed in Mugi-Mam Nduga, on Saturday, April 15, 2023. He believed that there were many fatalities on the OPM side, but they were reluctant to disclose it.
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