* Ex-minister leads early formation of interim government
* Govt holds Muammar Gaddafi to blame for “crimes”
* Leader’s tribe exempt of responsibility
(Adds more quotes, background)
RABAT, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Opposition forces have set up an interim government in eastern Libya and holds Muammar Gaddafi responsible for the crackdown against protesters opposed to his rule, its head said on Saturday.
Ex-justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Ajleil told the online edition of the Quryna newspaper that the interim authority did not hold Gaddafi’s Gaddadfa tribe to blame for the loss of life, which diplomats estimate at around 2,000.
Analysts expect the opaque and complex tribal power structures to help decide how events in Libya will eventually play out. [ID:nLDE71L2AE]
Gaddafi has long relied on his immediate, but small, Gaddadfa tribe to staff elite military units and guarantee his personal security and that of his government.
Libya’s ambassador to the United States, Ali Aujali, told Reuters on Saturday he supported Abud Ajleil’s government.
Abud Ajleil insisted on “the unity of the homeland’s territory, and that Libya is free and its capital is Tripoli,” Quryna quoted him as saying in a telephone interview.
Gaddafi “alone” bore responsibility “for the crimes that have occurred” in Libya and that his tribe, Gaddadfa, were forgiven, he added.
“We are not in a phase of settling scores. We emphasise that the Gaddadfa are sons of this homeland and that we forgive everyone,” Quryna quoted him as saying.
Abdu Ajleil resigned on Monday to protest the “the excessive use of violence against the protesters”.
The formation of the interim government followed a meeting in Benghazi of “interim local leaderships in the eastern region”, he said.
Abud Ajleil said members of the interim government would be announced on Sunday at a press conference in Benghazi, cradle of the revolt against Gaddafi’s 41-year-rule.
“They include members from the liberated western cities such as Misrata and Zawiyah and other cities. Other portfolios will remain vacant until Tripoli and other cities in west and south of Libya are liberated ... Tripoli will remain the capital of Libyan state,” he said.
Abdulhafid Gouqa, a lawyer from Benghazi, was appointed spokesman for the interim government, whose status remains unclear, however.
The Quryna interview was accompanied by a picture of Abud Ajleil against a background showing the Kingdom of Libya’s national flag from 1951-1969. Gaddafi came to power in a military coup in a 1969.
The flag, which consists of white crescent and star on red-black-green tricolor, has featured in many of the anti-Gaddafi protests held inside and outside Libya since the unrest began. (Reporting by Souhail Karam, Editing by Jon Boyle)