Hijacking of a plane and its New Zealand pilot in Indonesia

Militants hijacked an Indonesian plane belonging to SUS Air and took hostage a New Zealand pilot and five of his passengers in the Indonesian province of West Papua.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins said: “The government is aware of the situation and staff at the New Zealand Embassy in Indonesia are working on the matter.”

“They have not yet given us full details of what happened and what they are doing to resolve the situation, but we know the case is in the works,” Hipkins added.

The New Zealand Foreign Office said it was providing consular support to the pilot’s family, but declined to comment further, citing privacy laws.

It was also reported that the military wing of the Free Papua separatist movement (in Indonesia it is considered a terrorist organization) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it would not be released until the Indonesian government recognized the independence of the region.

In 1969, Indonesia established its control over the territory of the western part of New Guinea and formed the province of West Irian, and later divided it into two parts – Papua and West Papua.

In 2019, riots and protests broke out in the provinces of Papua and West Papua demanding a referendum on self-determination upon secession.

Source: TASS

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