Healthy civil-military relations suggest professional and operational effectiveness of the security sector, enhanced by its sound management, accountability and democratic oversight. It is a condition experienced by many democratic polities, and sought by transforming ones. However, straightforward transitions are not obvious and require certain conditions to be present. Security sector reform can be practical tools for achieving such outcomes. Yet, in Africa, we find a paradox: sound civil-military relations and security sector governance are sought by reforming elites yet opposed by others for political and ideological reasons.