The highest point in the Central African Republic (CAR) is Mont Ngaoui (1,420 m).
A number of African empires were established in present-day CAR around the seventh century.
Various sultanates moved into the territory.
Slavery became a business and many local people were sent overseas as slaves.
New African groups migrated to the area during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
In the 1870s present-day CAR was governed by the Sultan of Egypt.
The French annexed the region, known as Oubangui-Chari, in the 1880s.
Oubangui-Chari was named after the rivers Ubangi and Shari.
Oubangui-Chari became one of four territories of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa - Afrique Equatoriale Francaise (AEF).
In 1946 Oubangui-Chari was allowed its own Assembly and given representation in the French Parliament.
Oubangui-Chari became autonomous within the French Community in 1958.
In 1960 the former colony of Oubangui-Chari gained independence as the Central African Republic. Other AEF members - Chad, Republic of the Congo, and Gabon - also gained independence.
A number of military governments ruled the CAR in the decades following independence.
In December 1976 Jean Bedel Bokassa proclaimed himself Emperor of the Central African Empire (former Central African Republic).
Bokassa lost power in a coup and the Central African Empire reverted to the Central African Republic (Republique Centrafricaine) in September 1979.
After twelve years of military rule, elections were held in 1993. Ange Felix Patasse became the President of the Central African Republic.
Patasse was deposed by a military coup in March 2003.
A multi-national African military force was deployed in the CAR in 2003.
Blood Diamond, the film set in Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s, highlighted the use of illegal diamond profits to fund fighting in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Flooding along the southern banks of the Ubangui River in August 2005 left an estimated twenty thousand people without homes.
In December 2011 Medecins Sans Frontieres warned of a chronic medical emergency because of disease, conflict, the economy and a poor health system.