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Online video exhibits New Zealand pilot taken hostage by greatly armed rebel group in distant Papua region

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Chilling movie has emerged of a New Zealand pilot who has been taken hostage by bow and arrow-wielding rebels in the remote Papua region of Indonesia. 

Phillip Mehrtens, a pilot for Indonesian aviation enterprise Susu Air, was kidnapped very last 7 days by the rebels, who stormed his solitary-motor aircraft shortly just after it landed on a small runway in Paro in the remote Nduga district on February 7.

The separatist rebels from the West Papua Liberation Military, the armed wing of the United Liberation Motion for West Papua (ULMWP), seized Mehrtens right before placing fire to his plane on the runway. 

Video clip has since emerged showing Mehrtens standing in a forest surrounded by a group of rebels who are armed with rifles, spears and bows and arrows. 

Rebel chief Egianus Kogoya insisted that the pilot, from Christchurch, will not be launched until finally the Papua region is built impartial from Indonesia.

But the Indonesian govt has stood agency and reported Papua will ‘forever remain a authentic part’ of Indonesia – raising uncertainties about when Mehrtens would be produced.

The West Papua rebel group behind the February 9 abduction of New Zealand pilot, Phillip Mehrtens (middle), launched photos of the captured airman whilst requesting total independence from Indonesia to protected his launch

Phillip Mehrtens was kidnapped shortly after touching down in Paro in the remote West Papuan province of Nguda

Phillip Mehrtens was kidnapped shortly after touching down in Paro in the remote West Papuan province of Nguda

The separatist rebels from the West Papua Liberation Army, the armed wing of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), seized Mehrtens before setting fire to his plane on the runway (pictured)

The separatist rebels from the West Papua Liberation Army, the armed wing of the United Liberation Motion for West Papua (ULMWP), seized Mehrtens prior to placing fire to his aircraft on the runway (pictured)

Mehrtens had landed his plane, with 5 passengers on board, on a small runway in Paro and was scheduled to select up 15 building staff who experienced been developing a wellness centre in the district right after the separatist rebels threatened to kill them.

‘Our strategy to evacuate the employees angered the rebels, who responded by setting hearth to the plane and seizing the pilot,’ mentioned Nduga district main Namia Gwijangge, who was one of the travellers. ‘We deeply regret this incident.’

Flying is the only realistic way of accessing numerous components of the mountainous spot.

The rebels launched all 5 travellers due to the fact they are indigenous Papuans, rebel spokesperson Sebby Sambom reported before.

Sambom shared video clips and photos on Tuesday that confirmed a group of gunmen, led by Kogoya, placing hearth to the airplane on the runway. 

Sitting in the plane’s cockpit, Kogoya explained he took the pilot hostage as aspect of their battle ‘to absolutely free Papua’ from Indonesia.

Yet another video clip confirmed Mehrtens standing in a forest surrounded by the greatly armed rebels. 

In a third video clip, the pilot was requested by the rebels to say: “The Papuan armed forces that has taken me captive to fight for Papuan independence, they question for the Indonesian military to go property to Indonesia and if not, I will stay captive for my everyday living. 

He additional: ‘Indonesia have to figure out Papua is impartial.’

‘I took him hostage for Papua independence, not for foods or beverages,’ rebel leader Kogoya stated in the video with Mehrtens standing subsequent to him. ‘He will be safe and sound with me as prolonged as Indonesia does not use its arms, both from the air or on the ground.’

Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-sponsored ballot that was commonly witnessed as a sham. Considering the fact that then, a lower-stage insurgency has simmered in the mineral-wealthy region, which is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua.

Chilling photographs have emerged of a New Zealand pilot who has been taken hostage by a heavily armed rebel group in the remote Papua region of Indonesia

Chilling photographs have emerged of a New Zealand pilot who has been taken hostage by a seriously armed rebel team in the distant Papua location of Indonesia

Footage produced by the West Papua Liberation Military displays Mr Mehrtens surrounded by males armed with guns, spears, bows and arrows though he was compelled to make statements to digicam in aid of the rebels’ bring about

Kogaya is seen sitting outside the plane before setting it on fire

Kogaya is observed sitting down outdoors the aircraft ahead of environment it on fire  

Sitting in the plane's cockpit, Kogoya said he took the pilot hostage as part of their struggle 'to free Papua' from Indonesia

Sitting in the plane’s cockpit, Kogoya said he took the pilot hostage as section of their battle ‘to totally free Papua’ from Indonesia

Mr Mehrtens flew a single engine plane (allegedly pictured) to the Nguda region in order to remove 15 construction workers from the area after their lives were threatened by the rebels

Mr Mehrtens flew a single engine airplane (allegedly pictured) to the Nguda location in order to remove 15 building workers from the place immediately after their lives were threatened by the rebels

What is the West Papua Liberation Army?  

The West Papua Liberation Military is the armed wing of the United Liberation Motion for West Papua (ULMWP). 

Separatist rebels from the team have fought Indonesian handle in the easternmost region of Papua due to the fact the early 1960s.

The team, which has baby soldiers between its ranks, employs guerrilla practices to concentrate on and wipe out industrial structures as a rejection of Indonesian-led advancement. 

The Papuan fighters have never been effectively armed but have battled Indonesia since it took regulate of the mineral-prosperous region from the Dutch in 1962.

Papuans, who experienced declared their independence the 12 months ahead of, see Indonesians as invaders who cemented manage with a UN-sponsored sham referendum at the close of the 1960s.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Safety and Authorized Affairs Mohammad Mahfud mentioned the govt was producing every single hard work to persuade the rebels to launch Mehrtens ‘because the priority is the safety of the hostage.’

‘Taking civilians hostage for any cause is unacceptable,’ Mahfud explained in a video statement late Tuesday. He stated persuasion is the most effective method to guarantee hostage basic safety, but ‘the government does not rule out other initiatives.’

He emphasised the government’s perspective that Papua is part of Indonesia.

‘Papua will forever remain a respectable aspect of the unitary point out of the Republic of Indonesia,’ Mahfud claimed.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Trade explained Wednesday in a statement: ‘We are knowledgeable of the photos and video clip circulating but is not going to be commenting additional at this phase.’

Papua police main Mathius Fakhiri instructed reporters in Jayapura, the provincial funds, that they are in search of to acquire the pilot’s freedom by involving numerous group leaders, which include tribal and church figures, to construct conversation and negotiate with the rebels.

In the meantime, the president United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda issued a assertion on February 9 that laid out his requires.

‘The ULMWP Executive reiterates and reassures the New Zealand governing administration and the planet that we are [using] a peaceful, diplomatic tactic,’ President Wenda wrote.

‘Our roadmap is extremely very clear: we are pursuing the unified West Papuan aim of nationwide liberation peacefully, as a result of diplomatic political mechanisms.’

To release Mr Mehrtens, the rebels are demanding the removal of Indonesian troops from West Papua, a UN investigation into alleged human legal rights violations, a referendum of independence and a cancellation of ‘Special Autonomy’.

‘The kidnap of a international pilot the natural way delivers West Papua to the awareness of intercontinental media,’ Wenda ongoing.

‘The intercontinental group ought to enable to conclusion the violence in West Papua by forcing Indonesia to occur to the desk and discuss a referendum, the only route to a tranquil resolution. 

‘We will peacefully go on our lengthy fight for flexibility, till the entire world lastly hears our cry.

On the other hand, a spokesperson for the Liberation Army has also issued a warning to other countries and areas, which includes Australia.

Video and images have since emerged showing Mehrtens standing in a forest surrounded by a group of rebels who are armed with rifles, spears and bows and arrows

Video and illustrations or photos have considering that emerged exhibiting Mehrtens standing in a forest surrounded by a team of rebels who are armed with rifles, spears and bows and arrows

The president of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, sent his condolences to Mr Mehrtens' family for the troubles the abduction has caused them

The president of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, despatched his condolences to Mr Mehrtens’ family for the difficulties the abduction has brought on them

New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens

New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens

‘[The West Papuan Liberation Army] considers New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, The united states, Europe, all are liable,’ a assertion from the Liberation Army’s secretary, Sebby Sambom, reads.

‘The US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand has supported the Indonesian governing administration, properly trained The Indonesian Nationwide Law enforcement, equipped weapons to eliminate us West Papuans from 1963 to these days. They have to be held accountable.’ 

The previous Dutch colony in the western part of New Guinea, equally ethnically and culturally unique from Indonesia, has been in an insurgency towards Indonesian safety forces for decades.

Insurrection from Indonesia has smouldered given that 1969 when a UN-sponsored ballot placed West Papua below Indonesian management in what was witnessed as a sham referendum. 

The Nguda area was the scene of bloodshed in July past 12 months when 10 traders were being killed by the Liberation Military, who they claim were being spies for the Indonesian authorities.

In March of that identical year rebel gunmen killed eight experts repairing a remote telecommunications tower, even though in 2018 at the very least 31 building workers and a soldier ended up killed in one particular of the worst attacks in the province.

Mr Mehrtens worked for Susi Air after leaving flight school, in accordance to a report in the Sydney Early morning Herald, right before stints with Jetstar and Cathay Pacific subsidiary Cathay Dragon. He then returned to the Indonesian aviation organization.

Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 immediately after a U.N.-sponsored ballot that was extensively noticed as a sham. Considering that then, a lower-degree insurgency has simmered in the mineral-rich region.

The 15 construction staff, who were being rescued on February 8 by stability forces, came from other Indonesian islands to build the wellbeing centre in Paro. They had taken refuge in a priest’s home in the village for various days right after rebels threatened to kill them.

Separatists consider civilian staff to be outsiders who sometimes spy for the Indonesian federal government.

Conflict in the area has risen in the earlier yr, with dozens of rebels, protection forces and civilians killed.

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