Christian Karembeu's has revealed he has lost two family members in the New Caledonia violence. GETTY IMAGES

Former footballer Christian Karembeu shared that he has tragically lost two family members amid the recent surge of violence in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia.

Amid contentious voting reforms, seven individuals have lost their lives in the French Pacific territory, Karembeu's birthplace, during the recent unrest, which has since caused the Olympic Torch relay to be cancelled.

The 53-year-old France World Cup winner, is a strategic advisor and ambassador for Greek club Olympiakos, has revealed that his niece and nephew were victims of fatal gunshot wounds.

"I lost members of my family. That's why I remained silent, because I'm in mourning. Two people in my family were shot in the head," ex-Middlesbrough midfielder Karembeu told Europe 1. "We hope that there will be investigations into these murders.

"I didn’t want to, because the word is strong, but... it’s true that, yes, it’s an assassination and we hope that there will be inquiries and investigations into these murders."

Two of Christian Karembeu's family members have been killed in the New Caledonia violence. GETTY IMAGES
Two of Christian Karembeu's family members have been killed in the New Caledonia violence. GETTY IMAGES

Protests in New Caledonia, an archipelago situated between Australia and Fiji, have been spearheaded by the indigenous Kanak community, to which Karembeu belongs. Currently, voting rights in the territory are restricted to indigenous Kanaks and individuals who migrated from France prior to 1998.

The proposed reform aims to extend voting privileges to more French residents, including those who have resided in New Caledonia for at least a decade. New Caledonia was initially annexed by France in 1853 during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, who was the nephew and heir of Napoleon. In 1957, French citizenship was extended to all Kanaks.

Karembeu relocated to mainland France at the age of 17 to pursue a professional football career. He earned 53 caps for the national team, including during the 1998 World Cup victory.

Throughout his career, he played for clubs such as Nantes, Sampdoria, and Real Madrid, where he won two Champions League titles, along with Olympiakos, Servette, and Bastia.