Ethiopia signed a deal with Somaliland. Somaliland is the separatist statelet in the northern corner of Somalia and is centered on the port of Berbera. Somaliland "withdrew" from the rest of Somalia in 1991. Ethiopia is looking for an alternative route to the sea-- an alternative to Eritrea. Berbera provides that alternative. Dealing directly with Somalilland is also a slap at Somalia. Ethiopia has accused Somalia of aiding Eritrea. On the other hand, Somalia points out that Ethiopia has supplied various Somali rebel groups. The new trade agreement Ethiopia and Somaliland signed goes into effect in July 2005. A Somaliland government spokesman pointed out that Ethiopia and Somlaliand reached a trade agreement in 2003 that included customs agreements and an agreement to improve roads connecting the countries.