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Papua separatists asked for ransom amid NZ pilot hostage situation: Police

Tempo - February 23, 2023

Eka Yudha Saputra, Jakarta – The Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Commissioner Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo on Thursday said the separatist group in Papua – known as the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Free Papua Movement (OPM) – which has taken a New Zealand pilot Philips Max Mehrtens as hostage once asked for ransom and arms as the requirement to release the pilot.

The police spokesperson said Indonesian law enforcers answered the separatists' request with a firm rejection. "They once demanded that but the joint military and police team did not respond as their requests did not make sense," said Benny on February 23.

The Papua Police, according to the police chief Insp. General Mathius D. Fakhiri, continues to closely monitor the movement of the separatist group led by Egianus Kogoya, with the final goal of freeing the New Zealand pilot.

He asserted that the joint rescue team will conduct the operation carefully and thoroughly by calculating the causes and effects if law enforcement is carried out in the area.

"This should be thought out thoroughly. Because we do not want other groups to later spread information that does not represent the reality in the field, such as issues related to human rights and so on," he said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1695181/papua-separatists-asked-for-ransom-amid-nz-pilot-hostage-situation-polic