The United Nations is appealing for countries to accommodate 1 300 refugees stranded in Libya, following revelations of horrific abuse of migrants in the country.

The UN refugee agency said there was a dire need for over 1000 resettlement places by the end of March 2018.

The chaos-ridden country has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Many refugees and migrants have fallen prey to serious abuse there at the hands of human traffickers and others.

European and African leaders have already vowed to evacuate nearly 4 000 distressed migrants from Libya after global outrage erupted last month over video footage showing African migrants being auctioned off as slaves in the country.

UNHCR said the vulnerable refugees included unaccompanied children, single mothers, people with serious medical conditions and people who had been severely tortured during their journey or in detention in Libya.