West Papua rebels threaten to shoot New Zealand pilot if independence talks denied | West Papua

Rebels in Indonesia’s Papua area have threatened to shoot a New Zealand pilot being held hostage if nations don’t adjust to their demand to start out independence talks inside two months, a brand new video launched by the group exhibits.

Guerrilla fighters in Papua’s central highlands, who wish to free Papua from Indonesia, kidnapped Phillip Mehrtens after he landed a business aircraft within the mountainous space of Nduga in February.

Within the new video, a visibly emaciated Mehrtens holds the banned Morning Star flag, an emblem of West Papuan independence, and is surrounded by Papuan fighters brandishing rifles.

Mehrtens is seen speaking to the digicam, saying the separatists need nations aside from Indonesia to interact in dialogue on Papuan independence.

“If it doesn’t occur inside two months then they are saying they are going to shoot me,” Mehrtens says within the video.

A spokesperson for New Zealand’s ministry of international affairs stated in an e-mail to Reuters on Saturday that it was conscious of the pictures and movies circulating.

“We’re doing all the pieces we are able to to safe a peaceable decision and Mr Mehrtens’ secure launch,” the spokesperson added.

In the meantime, Indonesia’s army spokesperson, Julius Widjojono, stated on Saturday that the army would proceed to hold out measurable actions in accordance with customary working process. The Indonesian international ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Indonesian authorities have beforehand stated they’re prioritising peaceable negotiations to safe the discharge of the Susi Air pilot, however have struggled to entry the remoted and rugged highland terrain.

In April, insurgent gunmen attacked Indonesian military troops who have been deployed to rescue Mehrtens, leaving at the least six lifeless and about 30 lacking.

A low-level however more and more lethal battle for independence has been waged in resource-rich Papua ever because it was controversially introduced below Indonesian management in a vote overseen by the United Nations in 1969.

The battle has escalated considerably since 2018, with pro-independence fighters mounting deadlier and extra frequent assaults, largely as a result of they’ve managed to obtain extra subtle weapons.

Rumianus Wandikbo of the West Papua Nationwide Liberation Military, the armed wing of the Free Papua Motion, referred to as on nations resembling New Zealand and Australia in addition to western nations to kickstart talks with Indonesia and the separatists.

He stated in a separate video: “We don’t ask for cash …We actually demand our rights for sovereignty.”