RIOTS consists of a set of 20 separate variables, covering each year from 1997 to 2016. The variables report the number of riots or protests within a 10 kilometer circular buffer around each DHS cluster location, by year. RIOTS data are available for years 1997 to 2016 in Africa and 2015 to 2016 in Asia, for a subset of IPUMS-DHS samples with GPS data.
By adding RIOTS to your data cart, you are in effect adding 20 separate variables (RIOTS_1997 - RIOTS_2016), one variable for each year.
Please see the User Note on Using IPUMS-DHS Contextual Variables: Conflict [URL omitted from DDI.] for more information about these variables, including data sources and methodology.