The Rapid Intervention Police (RIP), its objectives and mandate and whether it members are involved in human rights abuses (July 2001) [AGO37209.E]

The Rapid Intervention Police (RIP), also called Riot Police or Emergency Police (ODR Nov. 1999), but commonly known as the Ninjas (ibid.; The Independent 21 Oct. 1999; Sunday Telegraph 30 Jan. 2000) was created in 1992 as an elite military force (IND Apr. 2001. ODR Nov. 1999).

Citing the RIP Deputy commander, a 5 June 2000 ANGOP article stated that the RIP has a mission not only for the "control and security of the population, within the framework of the public order and tranquillity" but also to "reinforce the other units of the national police."

Current information on whether the RIP is involved in human rights abuses could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, citing Rafael Marques, an Angolan independent journalist, the MISNA report revealed that eight members of the Party for Democracy and Progress in Angola (PADPA) were arrested and detained on 25 January 2001 in Luanda by members of the RIP (25 Jan. 2001). The report added that while PADPA members were demanding the resignation of the Angolan President for his association with corruption scandals and other actions of misconduct, "the Ninjas moved in and started beating up and arresting the demonstrators (MISNA 25 Jan. 2001).

A 30 January 2000 Sunday Telegraph article noted that Rafael Marques, a journalist for Folha Oito, who had written an article which accused Mr Dos Santos [Angolan President] of "using the war as excuse for bad governance and theft of public funds was woken at down by armed members of Angola's Rapid Intervention Police, commonly known as Ninjas, put under arrest, and placed in a high security prison for political prisoners."

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Angola News Agency (ANGOP). 5 June 2000. "Riot Police Public Maintain Public Order and Tranquillity." [Accessed23 Jul. 2001]

The Independent [London]. 21 October 1999. Anna Richardson. "The Dictator's Lipstick Triggers Fury of the Ninjas." (NEXIS)

Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND), Home Office, UK. April 2001. "Angola Assessment." [accessed 23 Jul. 2001]

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISNA). 25 January 2001. "Angola Alert: Journalist Prevented from covering Demonstration, Demonstrators." Accessed 24 Jul. 2001]

Office Federal des réfugiés (ODR), Switzerland. November 1999. "Angola." [Accessed 23 Jul. 2001]

Sunday Telegraph [London]. 30 January 2000. Christina Lamb. "International: Angola Leader Keeps Country at War for Profit." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential December 2000-2001.

Africa Research Bulletin December 2000-2001.

Country Reports. 2001. Electronic Version.

Amnesty International Annual Report. 2001. Electronic version.

Human Rights Watch annual Report. 2001. Electronic version.

IRB databases.

Jeune Afrique/L'intelligent December 2000-2001.

Keesing's Record of World Events 2000-2001.



Resource Centre. Angola country file. 2001 - 2000.

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International.

Angola Press News Agency [Luanda].

Committee to Protect Journalists.

Digital Freedom Network.


The Inter-African Network for Human Rights.

Inter-Church Coalition on Africa.

Mail and Guardian [Johannesburg].

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).



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