LUANDA, ANGOLA—The war-torn West African nation of Angola, for decades wracked by violent power struggles among rival factions, was cast into further political turmoil Monday when a 40-pound anti-personnel land mine seized power and declared itself president for life.
"Today represents the dawn of a glorious new era for our nation," said the landmine, which rose to power with the backing of Angola's estimated 40 million subterranean explosive devices. "For too many years, we have been ignored by Angola's leaders, denied representation despite the fact that we outnumber the humans by a margin of four to one."
The new leader punctuated its remarks with periodic detonations, which blew off the legs of numerous nearby orphans.
Though many Angolans are skeptical about having a non-sentient, man-made object designed to maim people as their leader, support for the mine appears to be growing.
"Killing and maiming thousands of innocent people has always been a crucial part of being president of Angola," said Xassengue villager Biaro Opala, one of the nation's 3,000,000+ amputees. "Who is better qualified for this task than a land mine?"
"This land mine will do at least as good a job governing Angola as our previous leaders," triple-amputee Kwala N'ele said. "It will also blow people's limbs and genitals off."
According to political observers, the land mine's ascent to power will likely pave the way for future non-human leaders in Angola.
"This land mine will open doors for other large but politically underrepresented African-Angolan groups, such as rocket-propelled grenade launchers and AK-47 assault rifles," Yale University African Studies professor Ralph Langwell said.
Langwell praised the land mine as a canny leader that may at last bring unity to a shattered nation.
"Waiting until now to seize power was a shrewd move on the part of this mine," Langwell said. "Using all of the innate skills typically possessed by land mines, it was smart enough to lay low for years, waiting until the Angolan political climate was just as volatile as the mine itself, and then—bang!—take everyone by surprise."
"The timing is right for a land-mine presidency," he added. "This is a leader people will think twice before walking all over."