Recently, a photo has been circulating on social media that shows a foreign national (allegedly Susi Air pilot, Captain Philips Mark Methrtens) being held captive by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB-OPM). However, Major General Muhammad Saleh Mustafa of Pangdam XVII/Cendrawasih confirmed that this photo is a hoax. The Indonesian military and police are still searching for the whereabouts of Captain Philips.
According to Major General Saleh, "The Susi Air pilot is still suspected to be with the KST (separatist and terrorist group) and search efforts are ongoing in accordance with field conditions." Meanwhile, Danrem 172/PWY Brigadier J.O Sembiring stated that the photo was deliberately spread to provoke the public. He emphasized that the photo was taken a year ago.
"It's all untrue, it's an attempt by the KST and their sympathizers to provoke. It's a provocation and a reversal of facts, if continued, it could violate the law," explained Sembiring.
The photo shows a foreign national holding a flagpole with the Bintang Kejora flag flying in the middle of a group of men holding long firearms. The Indonesian military and police are still investigating the matter and taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of all citizens and foreigners in Papua.
This recent development highlights the ongoing conflict and unrest in Papua and the need for a peaceful resolution to the situation. The international community is closely monitoring the situation and calling for all parties to respect human rights and find a peaceful solution to the conflict.