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Mongolia: The Security System
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Criminal Justice and Public Security > Law Enforcement > The Security System


The people of Mongolia were subject to the control of a variety of political, economic, and social organizations inside and outside the government. The entire system was guided by the party, which directed the overall policies of the government agencies; other political groups, such as the youth and labor organizations; and the network of herding and agricultural cooperatives that extended to include the lowliest arad.

In the government structure itself, the security system comprised the Ministry of Public Security under which were the central Militia Office and the network of police departments, called militia departments; the State Security Administration; the Fire Prevention Administration; the Border and Internal Troops Administration; and the offices handling correctional organizations. In addition, both governmental and public auxiliary law-enforcement groups helped these agencies to maintain public order and safety.

The national police apparatus, commonly called the militia, had a department in each aymag and a militia office in each district. The militia was responsible for the registration and supervision of the internal passports that all citizens aged sixteen and older were required to carry, and for enforcement of the passport regulations at the national and local levels. A passport was necessary for internal travel, and persons wishing to travel first had to obtain permission from the militia. After arriving at their destination, they had to register with the militia. The militia collected the passports of those entering military service. The passports of persons under criminal investigation and detention were held by the investigative organ, but those who were sentenced to prison surrendered their passports to the militia. A system of tight control was imposed upon the movements of all citizens. The militia also had been designated as the organ of criminal investigation -- giving central direction to police work and combining the functions of criminal investigation and criminal arrest. The procurators supervised the militia's crime-detection work. Militia investigators were expected to have strong political convictions, a knowledge of jurisprudence, extensive working experience, loyalty, and honesty.

Militia organs, together with local assemblies administered compulsory labor sentences of convicted criminals. Militiamen, as well as the executive committees of local governments, had authority to put intoxicated persons into detention houses for twenty-four hours or less and to fine them.

Each militia office had a motor-vehicle inspection bureau, which regulated vehicular traffic, investigated accidents, issued licenses, and could impose fines on operators guilty of minor law infractions. Detectives attached to motor vehicle inspection bureaus also investigated vehicular accidents. Militia members directed motor traffic, and they were stationed along the railroads.

The Ministry of Public Security also was responsible for the Fire Prevention Administration and the State Security Administration. The Fire Prevention Administration supervised all fire-prevention and fire-fighting activities. The State Security Administration was a counterintelligence organization thought to oversee anti-espionage, antisubversion, and anti-sabotage activities.

The Border and Internal Troops Administration was in charge of 15,000 troops responsible for border patrol, for guard duties, and for immigration control. Border defense troops were equipped with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, tanks, motor vehicles and motorcycles, radio communications equipment, engineering equipment, and automatic weapons.

Data as of June 1989

Last Updated: June 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mongolia was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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