A South Sudanese government official says rebels badly damaged petroleum facilities in an oil-producing state and "have to answer" for the destruction.

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said Sunday the government is now in full control of Unity State after its forces took over the capital Bentiu from forces loyal to former vice president Riek Machar on Friday.

Tensions followed after President Salva Kiir dismissed Machar and other high ranking politicians from Cabinet in July and culminated in fighting that broke out on Dec. 15 and descended into ethnic attacks.

The US Special Representative to the South Sudan crisis Donald Booth said Sunday that mediators in peace talks for South Sudan being held in Ethiopia had made some progress trying to secure a cease-fire agreement between the rebels and government.