TPNPB burns plane and takes Susi Air pilot hostage

Photo illustration.

Jayapura, Jubi – The leader of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) Ndugama-Derakma, Egianus Kogeya said his group burned down a Susi Air plane with call sign PK-BVY in Paro District, Nduga Regency, Mountainous Papua Province on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. TPNPB also confirmed that they had flagged down the pilot of the plane.

This was stated by Egianus Kogeya through a written statement announced by TPNPB spokesman Sebby Sambom on Tuesday. “TPNPB Ndugama-Derakma burned a Susi Air plane PK-BVY at the Paro District airfield, Nduga, Mountainous Papua,” Kogeya said.

The plane flew at dawn from Timika, the capital of Mimika Regency. The plane landed in Paro District at 06:26 a.m. Papua time.

In the press statement, Kogeya also mentioned the hostage-taking of researchers from the Lorentz 95 Expedition Team that occurred on January 8 to May 9, 1996. Egianus Kogeya said the hostage-taking was carried out by the National Liberation Army led by Kelly Kwalik, Daniel Yudas Kogeya, and Silas Elmin Kogeya.

Egianus Kogeya said the government must close all flight paths to Nduga Regency. He said security forces should not shoot or interrogate Nduga civilians following the burning of the Susi Air plane and the hostage-taking of the pilot as those were not carried out by Nduga civilians.

According to him, TPNPB will only release the pilot, Philips Max Marthin, who is a New Zealand citizen, when Papua is free. Kogeya said that all development activities in Nduga must be stopped, and his group would continue the war until Papua becomes independent. (*)

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