The head of Sudan’s military council stepped down on Friday a day after he led a coup to depose long-time leader Omar al-Bashir following months of protests, BBC reported.

Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf announced his decision on state TV and named Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan his successor. “I am confident he [Burhan] will steer the ship to safe shores,” Auf said, according to The Guardian. Auf said he was stepping aside to “preserve unity” of the armed forces.

Auf’s decision to step down came after protestors refused to leave the streets, saying the coup leaders were too close to al-Bashir, who ruled over Sudan for over 30 years. The Army said it will stay in power for a two-year transition period, which will be followed by elections.

The military said it would not hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

Police said at least 16 people were killed by stray bullets at protests on Thursday and Friday.

Auf was head of military intelligence during the Darfur conflict in the 2000s. The United States had imposed sanctions on him in 2007.

Al-Bashir was ousted following months of protest in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum over rising prices. The military forced him to step down and imposed a three-month state of emergency.