The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has criticised the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Yanghee Lee said the situation in Rakhine was “really grave” and it was time for Ms Suu Kyi to “step in”.
Her comments came as the number of Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh reached 87,000, according to UN estimates.
That is more than the exodus after the October 2016 violence in Rakhine.
Both outpourings were sparked by attacks by Rohingya militants on police posts which triggered a crackdown by the Burmese military.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim ethnic minority who have faced persecution in Myanmar. Many of those who have fled describe troops and Rakhine Buddhist mobs burning their villages and attacking civilians.
Satellite images show many fires across northern parts of the state, and Human Rights Watch has released an image which it says shows that more than 700 homes were razed in one Rohingya village.
The UN special rapporteur said the scale of the destruction this time, compared to October, was “far greater”.
“The de facto leader needs to step in – that is what we would expect from any government, to protect everybody within their own jurisdiction,” she said.
Her sentiments were echoed by Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, who said she was waiting to hear from Ms Suu Kyi – who has not commented on the crisis since it erupted.
“The world is waiting and Rohingya Muslims are waiting,” Ms Yousafzai said.