DECANI – Ethnic Albanians protested in the town of Decani in western Kosovo-Metohija on Thursday against the Constitutional Court’s decision to return 24ha of land to the Visoki Decani Monastery, says Tanjug’s on-site reporter.

Ethnic Albanians see the Constitutional Court’s decision as a violation of the law.

The protest lasted over 30 minutes, with only Decani Mayor Rasim Seljmanaj addressing the crowd.

No incident took place during the protest which passed off under heightened security measures.

The property in question was taken away from the monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) after World War Two, and returned in 1997 by the Serbian government.

After the 1999 conflict, local authorities challenged the monastery’s claim to the land.

After 16 years of dispute, the Kosovo Constitutional Court recently decided to give back the land to the monastery.

The move has been met with strong opposition from local councilors, population and Kosovo MPs.

Visoki Decani is the only monastery in Kosovo constantly guarded by KFOR because it has often been attacked and desecrated.