Separatists in Papua’s central highlands want countries other than Indonesia to engage in dialogue on independence, the pilot they have taken hostage says.
Papua rebels threaten to kill NZ pilot if denied talks
Rebels in Indonesia’s Papua region have threatened to shoot a New Zealand pilot they took hostage in February if countries do not comply with their demand to start independence talks within two months, a new video released by the group shows.
Guerrilla fighters in Papua’s central highlands, who want to free Papua from Indonesia, kidnapped New Zealand pilot Captain Phillip Mehrtens after he landed a commercial plane in the mountainous area of Nduga.
In a new video released on Friday, a visibly emaciated Mehrtens holds the banned Morning Star flag, a symbol of West Papuan independence, and is surrounded by Papuan fighters brandishing what one analyst said were assault rifles manufactured in Indonesia.
Mehrtens is seen talking to the camera, saying the separatists want countries other than Indonesia to engage in dialogue on Papuan independence.