Fighters in Indonesia’s Papua area have threatened to shoot a New Zealand pilot they took hostage in February if independence talks aren’t launched.
The demand is available in a brand new video launched by the group on Friday, which exhibits an emaciated Phillip Mehrtens holding the banned Morning Star flag – a logo of Papuan independence.
Surrounded by Papuan fighters brandishing rifles, Mr Mehrtens stated they need different international locations to be a part of talks on the area’s bid for independence from Indonesia.
He stated: “If it doesn’t occur inside two months, then they are saying they are going to shoot me.”
The Indonesian international ministry and the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta haven’t commented on the video.
Indonesian authorities have beforehand stated they’re attempting to barter the pilot’s launch, however they’ve struggled to entry the a part of the nation the place he’s being held.
The West Papua Liberation Military fighters captured Mr Merhtens after he landed a commercial plane within the mountainous area of Nduga.
He had been serving to to evacuate 15 building staff who had been threatened with loss of life whereas constructing a well being centre within the distant district.
The passengers had been launched as a result of they had been Papuans, in keeping with insurgent spokesman Sebby Sambom.
However Mr Merhtens, who’s from Christchurch and works for Indonesian agency Susi Air, was taken.
Separatists in Papua – an impoverished however resource-rich space within the far east of the nation sharing a border with Papua New Guinea – usually imagine outsiders are authorities spies
Papua grew to become a part of Indonesia in a controversial 1969 vote and there was an insurgency ever since, with frequent violence between indigenous folks and safety forces.
In more moderen years, the fighters have been capable of entry higher weapons, growing the variety of clashes.