Algiers (Agencies): The Algerian government warned that it will be the Opposition's error if a pro-democracy protest later this month turns violent.

Opposition leaders, human rights groups, unions, students and unemployed workers are planning a march on February 12 in Algiers, the capital city. They want the government to lift the state of emergency that has been in effect since 1992, end its ban on new political parties and be more transparent.

But Deputy Prime Minister Nouredine Yazid Zerhouni reminded organisers of the protest on that the march is "officially banned."

"Those who are calling for this march must take responsibility for damage or for things getting out of hand," said Zerhouni, adding that the government had no plans to lift its state of emergency.

Like many of its North African neighbours, Algeria, a nation of 35 million populace, is on edge. Riots broke out last month after a spike in food prices, leaving two people dead, and hospital and bank employees are now on strike.

The government has been watching the unrest across the Arab world, especially in Tunisia and Egypt.

On January 22, Algerian riot police clashed with protesters who tried to defy the ban on public gatherings and march in Algiers. The angry protesters shouted "Boutef out", a reference to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in power since 1999.