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Papuan fighters threaten to kill a New Zealand pilot if independence negotiations are not held.

In February, pilot Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage after attempting to evacuate threatened construction employees from a remote mountainous area.

If independence negotiations are not initiated, fighters in Indonesia’s Papua region have threatened to shoot a New Zealand pilot they captured in February.

In a new video released by the group on Friday, an emaciated Phillip Mehrtens is seen brandishing the outlawed Morning Star flag, which represents Papuan independence.

Mr. Mehrtens, who was surrounded by armed Papuan fighters, stated that they want other nations to participate in discussions regarding the region’s quest for independence from Indonesia.

Papuan fighters threaten to kill a new zealand pilot if independence negotiations are not held.
Papuan fighters threaten to kill a New Zealand pilot if independence negotiations are not held.

He stated, “If it does not occur within two months, they will execute me.”

Both the Indonesian foreign ministry and the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta have remained silent regarding the video.

Authorities in Indonesia have previously stated that they are attempting to negotiate the pilot’s release. But they have had difficulty gaining access to the region of the country where he is being held.

After landing in Nduga, West Papua Liberation Army militants captured Mr. Merhtens.

He helped evacuate fifteen construction workers who were threatened with death while building a distant health centre.

The passengers were released, according to insurgent spokesman Sebby Sambom, because they were Papuans.

Mr. Merhtens, a native of Christchurch who works for the Indonesian company Susi Air, was abducted.

Separatists in Papua, an impoverished but resource-rich region in the country’s extreme east that shares a border with Papua New Guinea, frequently suspect that outsiders are government agents.

In a controversial referendum in 1969, Papua became a part of Indonesia. Since then, there has been an insurgency with frequent violence between indigenous people and security forces.

In recent years, combatants have had access to better weapons, increasing the number of conflicts.

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