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Negotiation in Susi Air pilot release hindered by third party intervention, police says

Tabloid Jubi - February 28, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – Sr. Comr. Faizal Ramadhani, the Head of Cartenz Peace Operation, has revealed that the negotiation process for the release of Susi Air pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens, who has been held captive by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) since February 7, 2023, has been hindered by customary issues, as well as interference of other parties.

Faizal made this statement following a visit from the New Zealand Police Attache for Indonesia, Paul Laurence Borrel, at the Cartenz Peace Operation Command Post in Timika, Mimika Regency, Central Papua Province, on Tuesday (27/2/2024). Faizal stated that he had conveyed this information to Borrel.

"The negotiation process is still ongoing, led by the Acting Regent of Nduga, Edison Gwijangge. However, the negotiation process is hindered by various factors, including the interference of other parties and customary issues," said Faizal.

The chief of Nduga Police, Adj. Sr. Comr. VJ Parapaga, stated that efforts to release the New Zealand national pilot are still ongoing. He mentioned that the Nduga District Coordinating Forum (Forkopimda) is committed to resolving this case through a family approach.

"We bring food supplies and open dialogues regarding the release of the pilot," said Parapaga when contacted by phone on Tuesday. He assured that efforts to release Phillip Mark Mehrtens remain a top priority.

The New Zealand Police Attache for Indonesia, Paul Laurence Borrel, commended the efforts made by the Cartenz Peace Operation Task Force in handling the case of the Susi Air pilot's abduction. Borrel hopes that Phillip Mark Mehrtens will be safely released soon.

"We express our condolences for the loss of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police members during the pilot's liberation operation. We hope that the Cartenz Peace Operation can resolve the case as soon as possible," said Paul. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/negotiation-in-susi-air-pilot-release-hindered-by-third-party-intervention-police-says