We do not want them
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD pressed for no international intervention to free Susi Air Pilot Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens from New Zealand held hostage by the Papuan armed criminal group (KKB).

According to Mahfud, the effort to free Captain Mehrtens had become the Indonesian government's policy that will not involve other countries for internal problems that it could independently address.

"Whatever the stakes, the international agency cannot intervene," he emphasized while conveying his directives at the National Coordination Meeting Regarding the 2024 Election with Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono and National Police (Polri) Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo in Jakarta, Monday.

He cautioned that if the international community were to be given permission to become involved in the operation, then it was feared that their involvement would spread to various other domestic issues.

"Thus, we reject any attempts at international interference offered by the international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). We do not want them," he stated.

The hostage situation involving the Susi Air pilot is one of the factual issues in the Papua region that has become a challenge for the TNI and Polri in their efforts to provide security for the 2024 elections.

Apart from the hostage-taking situation, the minister drew attention to several issues in the region, including the killings of civilians; security disturbances at various points, including airport facilities and government offices; as well as regional expansion that resulted in the formation of at least four new autonomous regions (DOB) at the provincial level in Papua.

Captain Mehrtens has been held hostage by the KKB, under the leadership of Egianus Kogoya, since February 7, 2023, shortly after landing his plane at Paro Airport, Nduga District.

The search efforts conducted since then have even claimed the lives of five TNI soldiers, who died in an attack carried out by the KKB in Mugi-mam on April 15, 2023.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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