Jayapura, Jubi – Paniai Regional Customary Council Chief John Gobay denied reports that two Indonesian soldiers have been taken hostage.
“It’s not true. No hostages in Paniai. Do not exaggerate it to divert attention from the Paniai case,” Gobay said this week, in Jayapura.
Local residents in Enarotali and Komopa said two soldiers from the Komopa Sub-district Military Command, identified as Second Sergeant Lery and Second Cadet Sholeh, had been held hostage.
But Gobay said the the two soldiers took a speedboat but between the Eka and Aga rivers, they were warned by residents that the OPM headquarters was at the end of the river. “So both of them were asked to save themselves instead of being taken hostage. They jumped from the boat and spent the night at the swamp,” Gobay explained to Jubi.
Then, the Military Special Forces and Special Forces team from Sub-district Miltiary Command have rescued them. “Both soldiers were rescued by joint special forces. Other team members took the speedboat. they’re all safe. That’s all the information I knew,” he said.
Gobay assumed it’s only a scenario by security forces to obscure the attempt of covering the shooting incident that killed four students in December last year.
“It just likes a soap opera. Better focus on the attempt to reveal the perpetrator of shooting against four students last year instead of creating such a story,” he said.
Meanwhile the Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Commander Major General Fransen Siahaan earlier admitted two Indonesian soldiers assigned in Enarotali were being hostages since Tuesday night (26/5) by the armed group but now are save.
“They’re already save, they can escape,” said the Commander Fransen G Siahaan. He explained the two hostages made to escape by the rebel after reportedly detained by Demianus Magai Yogi. (Arnold Belau/rom)